Following are some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the grade realignment for 2014-2015. If you have a question that might also benefit other families, please e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org
A. While acknowledging that financial restrictions are the driving force necessitating elementary school grade realignment, the educational benefits are many including: providing adequate and more consistent supports for students needing additional help; consistent and equitable schedules and class size; ability to incorporate flexible grouping to differentiate instruction; making resources available to fund curriculum and technology improvements; ability to implement new programs such as hybrid learning; reinstatement of computer technology instruction for grades 4 and 5; elimination of travel between buildings for learning support teachers and reading specialists; and creation of math coaches and literacy coaches to work with all students and teachers.
A. It depends. Most classrooms will see a reduction but some will see an increase. The school district has not been able to maintain its class size guidelines of 20 for grades K-3 and 25 for grades 4 and 5. In the 2013-14 school year, we have class sizes ranging from 14 to 28. Those with 14 in a class will see an increase and those with 28 will see a reduction. Without grade realignment, those with low class sizes were in greater jeopardy of seeing class sizes over 30 than those already at 28. It is very likely the class size guidelines will increase in the future due to financial constraints, but we hope to maintain 20 for grades K and 1. We hope to maintain the current class size guidelines for the first year of grade realignment.
A. Students will receive orientation before the end of the 2013-14 school year. Schools will be opened to families for walking tours prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year. Back to school nights will continue to be held.
A. Bus transportation times are usually mailed a week prior to the start of school. We plan to mail elementary bus times around August 1. Due to the earlier mailing, there could be changes as new students enroll.
A. Yes. For the first time, all elementary school students will have the option of riding a bus to and from school.
A. Bus dismissal will occur in two phases with half the buses beginning at each school and then progressing on to the next school to complete bus dismissal.
A. In the morning, the schools will be open early enough before the start time for parents to drop students off a both schools. There will be staggered dismissal so parents can pick one student up and get to the other school during the dismissal timeframe.
A. The instructional day will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. versus 9:05 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. currently.
A. No. Staffing has been reduced via more efficient scheduling but students will continue to receive one special per day. The grade K-3 schools will provide art, music, physical education and library. The grade 4-5 schools will provide art, music, physical education, library and computer technology. Music lessons and chorus will continue to be offered in grades 4 and 5.
A. Grade level teams are being provided time during the 2013-14 school year to work on class lists and share necessary information about students. In addition, elementary school staff will be provided dedicated time on the four staff in-service days prior to the first day of school to prepare.
A. Ben Franklin will be used for grades K-3 life skills and Eisenhower will be used for grades 4-5 life skills. Ben Franklin and East Pike will each have a Pre-K class.
A. Each school will have a full-time principal. Each school will have a full-time nurse or LPN. Ben Franklin and East Pike will have full-time guidance counselors while Eisenhower and Horace Mann will share a guidance counselor.