In connection with our Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP), which was developed by you, our community, I am pleased to update you on several areas that were identified as priorities by our stakeholders. Some of the priorities we received over and over again included the following:
- Provide more course offerings to middle and high school students
- Provide more opportunities for students to take advanced and Advanced Placement (AP) courses
- Create distinct feeder school patterns by examining school boundaries
- Ensure students have the same access to opportunities to learn at all schools (including course offerings, intervention, and enrichment opportunities)
- Build equal opportunities for students
- Prepare students for college and career readiness
- Provide continuity of care for students’ emotional and social well-being
All of those priorities are connected to our exploration of transitioning sixth grade classrooms to the middle school. Over the past few months, I’ve communicated with you about this transition and in our work with the community on examining this opportunity, we’ve received a great deal of input from our staff, parents, community, and students. Please know that all of the information and questions have been read and researched, helping us better prepare for a transition. I do believe our parents and community understand all of the benefits that are created for our students when forming true 6-8 grade middle schools. In light of the numerous opportunities this transition will provide our students and because the community has identified those opportunities as priorities, we are moving forward with plans to transition all sixth grade classrooms to middle school beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.
I have already reached out to our fifth grade parents (who will be the first group affected by this transition) as well as to our sixth grade teachers with information, but I invite our entire community to examine our updated Sixth Grade Transition FAQ, which addresses many of the initial questions you may have. This step will provide numerous benefits, not only to our sixth graders and middle schools, but in other areas of curriculum, instruction, and achievement.
Dr. Jim Wipke