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During the school district’s consultation phase of school closures, another option has evolved and has been presented to trustees and district staff: K-4, 5-7, 8-12 (developmentally-focused model). This model is a modified version of the original Plan A.
The K-4, 5-7, 8-12 model, provides the trustees with another option from Plan C (K-7, 8-12) and it has equal financial advantage for the district. This new option consists of elementary schools being K-4 (primary skill focus), 5-7 (retaining a middle school concept), 8-12 secondary school and maintains our district’s unique, 37-year commitment to middle schools.
The K-4, 5-7, 8-12 model minimizes disruption to students, families and teachers. It requires only one middle school to be renovated and allows the elementary schools and two middle schools to be used for their designed purposes, maintaining the opportunities provided by band, home economics, woodworking, drama and art rooms.
It is my conviction that the K-4, 5-7, 8-12 model has the greatest potential to meet both the developmental needs of our students and the unique needs of this generation of children.
The K-4, 5-7, 8-12 model meets the financial concerns this district faces, in fact, with the reduction in renovation costs, it may well provide a greater savings overall. This option allows us to move into this challenging financial time with optimism.
In speaking individually with some primary teachers and middle school teachers, their most hopeful and most energizing conversation come when speaking of a more developmentally-focused plan. These educators see an enhanced value within a developmentally focused model that would provide increased opportunities for concentrated social emotional supports and increased experiential opportunities for their students.
At the QBMS public consultation meeting, a middle school teacher captured this enthusiasm and optimism about a K-4, 5-7, 8-12 model. She said if she had to, she would look forward to working with excellent primary teachers in Plan C. However, if she really had her choice, she said she is most excited about the educational focus and creative potential of the new 5-7 middle schools.
David Osborn, school counselor