Only one item was on the agenda: a proposed reorganization plan that would shuffle some grades among buildings.
Following this evening’s meeting, the board opened the proposed plan for public comment.
According to the proposal, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students would move to the elementary schools next fall, and the building where the Early Learning Center has been located would become a Sixth Grade Academy.
By returning the younger children to elementary school settings, district administrators hope to reverse reading setbacks that had been occurring when these children made the transition to first grade. Transitions between schools often have detrimental effects on student academic performance.
And by placing the sixth-grade students in one location, district administrators hope to be able to align the curriculum with the Common Core Standards recently adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education. These standards require sixth graders to attend separate English, science, social studies and technology classes similar to those in middle and secondary schools. In elementary schools, where Turner’s sixth-grade classes currently are located, students learn about all of these topics from one teacher. To sweeten the deal, plans are for each student in the Sixth Grade Academy to receive and iPad2 for use in school work.
Online public comments will remain open through at least Tuesday, Feb. 7, when the Board of Education will next meet. They will set aside time that evening for members of the public to comment in person. After district staff revise the plan — incorporating public suggestions — the board will consider final approval during their February 21 meeting.
Tonight’s board work session, which was open to the public, took place in the auditorium of Turner High School; 2211 S. 55th St.; Kansas City, KS 66106.
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