The new school year – it's not all about the new school
Last updated 9/3/2014 at 10:38am
Many people have been following the progress of our New K-12 school project for a little over two years now. While the new school is at long last becoming a reality and is the most visible change of what is happening in our school district, many other exciting changes are being put in place in order to meet the needs of our students.
The State Board of Education and the State Legislature have instituted two changes that go into effect in the 2015-16 school year. Rather than go through two years of major changes in the district, the School Board elected to adopt the two changes now. One is an increase to 1,080 student contact hours per year and the other is an increase in credits required for high school graduation to 24 for the Class of 2018 (this year’s 9th graders). In order to make these changes, the school day will be longer than in the past for all grade levels (8:16 a.m. to 3:27 P.M.) and additional course offerings and requirements will be in place in grades 9 – 12. Both of these changes will enable our district to better prepare our students to be successful, 21st Century adults.
Our grade alignment will no longer be grades P-4 in one school, grades 5-8 in another and 9-12 in a third. Now, all our students will be located at one site that includes both the district’s academic and career and technical education programs. This change allows the district to offer:
• new programs in K-6 Art, Music, and PE along with a full-time K-6 counselor;
• one facility to best meet student academic needs and to allow for cross curricular and vertical alignment;
• decreased bus times, ability to share staff across district without loss of instructional time, and ability for peer mentorship programs;
• creation of an Elementary ASB to offer leadership opportunities at younger level;
• expansion of our CTE courses to include 7th/8th Grade Auto Technology and Technology Shop;
• addition of College in the Classroom courses U.S. History 146 and 147, Psychology 101 and Leadership 101, whereby students can earn both high school and college credits;
• additional high school curriculum offerings of 9th Grade Geography and Civics and the Sparks Math College readiness course in conjunction with EWU;
• additional STEM based courses in Biomedical Interventions (1st year);
• Introduction to Engineering Design (1st Year);
• Continuation of the Project Lead the Way partnership with WSU by adding Principals of Biomedical Science for 11th graders and Human Body Systems for 10th graders; and
• Continuation of the EduCurious partnership with U of W by adding EC Biology (year 3) and English/Language Arts (year 2).
Eight certificated staff have been added to fill vacancies and new positions and, what may be the most notable, the K-12 school will have one mascot – students will enter our school as a raider, leave a raider and are always a raider!
Here’s to a great 2014-15 school year and the establishment of new traditions under one banner of success for all.