I appreciate all of the responses to my first blog post, it allowed for me to do some additional thinking on our district’s configuration. It looks like South Road is not going to be available, as it will still be in use by Meadowbrook. Other comments were that DLI families would like to see it kept to starting in Kindergarten. So here goes another suggested configuration.
This configuration is similar to what I proposed in my first blog post, with the exception that we use Wakefield (WES) as our 6th grade school. Then all of our Elementary kids (PreK through 5th Grade) would be at Peace Dale (PES), Matunuck (MES) and West Kingston (WKES). Broad Rock would be 7th and 8th grade, and SK High School would remain the same.
This configuration not only provides operational savings for the closure of Curtis Corner, but it also provides additional consolidation of students to allow for better use of our funds for personnel, resources, and programs.
The benefits that I see with this configuration are:
- More cohorts at the Elementary Schools allowing for more cross pollination. This year West Kingstown only has 1 monolingual class for each grade and Wakefield has a split 1st and 2nd grade. Last year Wakefield only had 1 Kindergarten class. More cohorts would reduce these issues.
- Reduces frequency of redistricting for the Elementary Schools.
- DLI configuration remains the same (PES and WKES), thus DLI families not impacted.
- Brings 5th Grade back to the Elementary School
- 6th Grade would have their own school, allowing students from the community schools to come together and get to know one another prior to going to Middle School / Junior High. Then when Facility Plan is approved/completed they would be moved to Broad Rock to reduce the number of transitions.
- 7th and 8th grade move to a newer school
Below is a breakdown of the enrollment projections and capacity details. As you can see we fit in well within utilization limits. The graphs show enrollment projected for the next 7 years (blue) compared to planned operating capacities (green) and actual enrollment from the 2009/2010 school year (purple). Below the graphs are tables with even more data, showing comparisons with different enrollment forecasts and different capacity values.
I am happy to discuss this, I am sharing for people to find holes or issues with this thought process. I don’t want to claim to have all the answers, I am just sharing a solution I think may work for us.
I would be curious to hear from parents of students that are now in the 11th and 12th grade. How was your Elementary experience? Did you find it crowded? This proposed configuration is still much less than what school usage was in 2009/2010, however it is proposing for more utilization than we currently are at. For a parent of elementary age kids I just wonder, what was it like when there were more kids in a school?
Thank you for reading!
For those of you who did not read my first blog post and are interested here is a link: https://skspotlight.home.blog/2019/01/21/school-configuration-2019-2020/
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