Updated August 4, 2014
Planning continues for new grade spans (PreK/K-5; 6-8; 9-12) that will be implemented beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.
Project Team Updates
Middle School Design Team
Based on the research that was conducted in Spring 2014 on effective middle school models and philosophy, the Middle Level Design Team received approval for two recommendations that were made to the superintendent’s cabinet and the Grade Reconfiguration Steering Committee. It has been determined that our middle schools will use:
- Grade-level interdisciplinary teams (grade 6, grade 7 and grade 8) for instruction in math, science, social studies, and language arts (“house model” in which a team of teachers works with the same group of students), and
- Daily advisory with structured curriculum around college/career planning, social/emotional learning, and academic oversight.
High School Programming Team
As of early August, there are no final decisions regarding high school programming. The team is in the process of looking at:
- 9th/10th grade physical education requirements,
- Engaging grade 6-12 content teams to look at course sequence,
- Meeting with grade 9-12 and grade 6-12 science teacher focus groups, and
- Considering the addition of a Career and Technical Education course for core area graduation credit.
High School Facilities Team
The High School Facilities Team has begun to hold department-by-department meetings to establish the facilities design and design details. Final drawings will be posted on this site as soon as they are available.
Human Resources Team
The team learned from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) that gr. K-6 and gr. 1-6 teachers are properly licensed to teach 6th grade in middle school. MDE does not require these 6th grade teachers to have a middle school endorsement.
The team explored the possibility of completing an early staffing process. Typically, the staffing timeline begins in late February and March. As a result of their review of data and information from district experts, the team recommended and cabinet approved that the staffing timeline begin after January 1, 2015.
The team will continue to explore the possibility of moving the staffing process up a few weeks or modifying it in some other way.
Educational Support Professionals (ESP) leaders have an interest in educating their members about grade configuration, the middle school model and how it might impact them. ESPs also want to be included in developing building culture, team building and behavior intervention strategies.
The team is developing a comprehensive list of databases, scripts, and other technology systems that rely on fixed grade span definitions or site abbreviations (e.g., grade promotion processes, report cards, and health forms). All of those systems will need updates to reflect new grade level spans.