GRADE BANDING FOR THE 2014-15 SCHOOL YEAR
As many of you may already know, at the board meeting last night, I presented a proposal for elementary grade banding and all-day kindergarten. The foundation of an individual's educational path starts in kindergarten. I have continued to express my desire to offer an all-day kindergarten program since I was hired in the district two years ago. Grade banding affords the district the opportunity to put an all-day kindergarten program in place for the 2014-2015 school year. Additionally, reorganizing buildings into grade bands will maximize resources, create additional opportunities for grade level collaboration, and increase consistency in delivery of instruction.
Next year, our three elementary buildings will go to grade banding with the following configuration. Kirkersville will service all kindergarten and first grade while offering all day kindergarten to all students. Pataskala Elementary will become the second and third grade building and Etna Elementary will house all fourth and fifth grade students. We see this initiative as an opportunity to increase engagement for all learners, strengthen student achievement across the curriculum, and help provide students with the technological and 21st century learning skills they will need to succeed in our global economy.
Although the process of change can be scary for all those involved, we will work together to help make this exciting transitional time for Southwest Licking Schools a positive experience for staff, community, current and future students. In the weeks to come, there will be opportunities for community involvement through public meetings to help gauge a better understanding of what next year will bring. We will continue to communicate through our website, listserves, letters sent home with your children, and local newspapers to ensure everyone is kept up to date on the new configuration of each building. Information regarding building start and end times, transportation, open houses at new grade banded buildings, classroom teachers, and additional details will be shared as decisions are made.
Let’s continue to embrace the idea that Southwest Licking Local Schools is an excellent district for all students. Thank you for all you do on behalf of your children.