Grade Configuration and Use of the Freshman Campus

UPDATE: The School Board approved the policy change to move to a K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 Grade Organization model to go in effect for the 2021-22 school year.

No official action has been taken on the future use of the Freshman campus

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Discussions regarding grade configurations and use of the Freshman Campus began in November. In preparation for the opening of two new elementary schools in 2021 the district began reassessing facility use. Two committees were formed and have reviewed the district's elementary grade configuration and the potential use of the Freshman Campus. The committees were charged with answering the following questions:

If the school district moved to a K-6 (or PreK-6) grade configuration, what would the program of study look like? (specialist schedules/offerings, etc.)

If the school district used the Freshman Campus for a different instructional purpose, what would the program of study look like? (school structure, grade configuration, etc.) 

Both committees have had discussions with staff and community, examined research and held community forums. Recommendations have been developed based on community and staff feedback. The following recommendations will be presented to the School Board on February 25.

 

Recommendation on Grade Configuration and Use of the Freshman Campus

Recommendation to Change School Board Policy 2210 - Grade Organization

Recommendation to change from our current K-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9, and 10-12 Grade Organization to a K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 Grade Organization.

Grade Configuration

Community Forum held February 4th

After a great deal of research, discussion and consideration of feedback from staff and community it is recommended West Valley School District move to a K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 grade configuration model.

According to research students have greater success when they experience fewer transitions throughout their education. Transitions are especially hard on student populations with difficulties in school. Our current grade configuration requires our students to transition four times. Each transition also requires families and teachers to develop new connections. Moving to a K-5, 6-8, 9-12 model would reduce student transitions by half.

There has also been consideration of specialization (subject specific teacher) vs. self-contained (having one teacher) throughout a school day. Research suggests the critical importance of the student-teacher relationship outweighs the benefits of specialization in the elementary grades. The proposed model will extend the self-contained learning environment for our students.

The proposed recommendation of K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 would go into effect for the 2021-22 school year.

Use of the Freshman Campus

Community Forum held February 11th

INNOVATION SCHOOL

Providing for a different style of learning accommodating the following:

SELF-PACED

Students will have the ability to work at their own pace. Courses would not be required to be complete within a specific time frame. This would create an environment where students could accelerate or decelerate their curriculum based on their needs with no time constraints or penalties.

COMPETENCY /STANDARDS BASED LEARNING

Progress through courses would be determined by what the learner knows. Students would be required to meet specific standards set by the state. Teachers would provide lessons that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge. Students can progress through courses as these standards are met.

INDIVIDUALIZED LEARNING CONTINUUM

Each learner would create an individual learning plan based on their needs. Avenues will be in place to provide students with mental health issues, work concerns or other extenuating circumstances with support and accountability allowing them to stay enrolled and progress through the program. Student eligibility would be determined through assessment data, ability to progress in program, and future goals.

FLEXIBLE DAY

Traditional school schedules would offer flexibility for students depending on needs of the learner. This model would allow for more ambiguity for students and immediate support for students who are considering dropping out or transferring.

SERVING 7TH-12 GRADERS

This program would be open to learners after the 6th grade and throughout our grade span. Students would be identified based on assessment scores, environments outside of school, and health issues among other things.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS:

•Socio-emotional support and resources

•Application process / admissions determined by committee

•Less time constraints / focus on student progress

•Supports for pathways (internships, apprenticeships) / focus on career prep

•Dependent on school leadership for success in meeting the various needs of a diverse group of learners