To: Michael Green
From: Asha Riley,Asst. Supt
RE: School Reconfiguration Update
To this point, I have largely been collecting questions regarding the many facets of this move; evaluating the scope of the work we have ahead, and organizing a plan of action.
While some decisions will be made at a district level, many will be made at building levels as well. With that in mind, we have common goals to guide our decisions. They are below.
Goals we seek to achieve in the new configuration of schools:
To provide high quality teaching and learning
To provide safe, healthy, and nurturing learning environments
To be fiscally responsible
To communicate and collaborate with our staff, community, and families
To build a seamless K-12 learning experience that results in high-quality learning for all students
As the plan has begun to take shape, we have been able to drill down and begin work in some areas. In other places, we realize decisions must first be made. Where decisions need to be made, where appropriate, staff will be invited to join a committee, or give feedback. In other cases, you will see some of the work occur as some tasks require a centrally-made decision, and just need to get done.
I thought it would be a good time to give you an update on our progress, and share with you some answers to frequently asked questions.
A team of staff from the Intermediate and Middle schools, including myself and a parent representative, has begun meeting to determine what the 5-8 Middle School program will look like. Their first meeting was to develop a list of guiding principles that will then inform decisions about schedules. At the next meeting, the team will vet different scenarios to find the one that will align to the goals above, and ensure a nurturing learning environment that is most conducive to student learning. I expect we'll have a decision by December.
Monday 11/10, I met with the librarians to discuss how they we will determine which books in the collections should move with grade levels, and which texts should stay. We will also name the steps necessary to completing the move of these books, and a timeline for each step.
Bus scenarios are being evaluated by Shannon - I expect to have some clarity by early February.
Chris and Steven are meeting to discuss how to align the two schools in a way that will provide a seamless learning experience for students, as they progress through the K-4 grades.
We have a draft letter of agreement with the union regarding the shift of teachers. More details to come when we have an agreement.
Teachers impacted by the move will receive information regarding their highly qualified status by the end of next week, so they are fully aware of what they can teach in the Middle School setting.
I met with the president of the PTO, who happens to have two children impacted by the move, and discussed ways we can communicate and partner with parents through this process.
Together we were able to come up with a plan. Thus far, the plan includes open house tours, a field trip for the kids to their new school (grades 1-3 to visit WIS, and 4-6 to visit WMS), some tours again before school starts, and two formal communication updates (one in the winter and one in the spring). I will also attend the January PTO meeting to give updates.
To ensure we don't move unnecessary items (things so old they should not be moved, but removed), I am presently facilitating a surplus. It is our goal to complete the surplus process before the winter break. At that time, we'll organize pick up of materials by those who wish to purchase them, or we will remove them. This way we are only dealing with things that truly need to be moved this summer.
I am beginning to investigate the most reasonable approach to the physical move between buildings. I intend to have at least some packing materials available before spring break, for those teachers who feel they need more time to pack additional spaces like closets.
Teachers received the attached communication last week, updating them on the reconfiguration.
More to come....much, much more. :)