The change in grade spans developed out of a need for additional space to accommodate all-day kindergarten. Early learning is a proven accelerator to close achievement gaps and expanding access to all-day kindergarten has been a school board-approved priority goal since 2007. The Legislature approved funding for all-day kindergarten beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, allowing the district to expand full-day programming districtwide.
In order to implement all-day kindergarten and maintain current programming in the areas of early childhood education, gifted education, intervention services and other special programs, additional space is needed at the elementary level. During the 2013-2014 school year, administrators and the School Board considered various options for creating space and presented those ideas for staff and community feedback. After considering feedback, the board approved a plan that would create the needed space at the elementary level through a change in grade spans.
Moving to a PreK/K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade configuration will:
- reduce space pressures at the elementary level;
- provide a more coherent high school program with all courses required for graduation under one roof;
- allow easier access for 9th graders to high school sports/activities; and
- ensure alignment with state K-12 academic standards.
To accommodate 9th graders at the high school level, space will be added and repurposed at each of our three comprehensive high schools.