Grade Reconfiguration Approved by ISD 279 School Board!
Grade spans to change to preK/K-5, 6-8, 9-12 in Fall 2015
After months of study and community engagement, the ISD 279 School Board has approved Supt. Kate Maguire’s recommendation to reconfigure grade spans to preK/K-5, 6-8, 9-12 beginning in 2015-16. The recommendation includes a plan to gain the additional space needed to accommodate 9th graders in high school by building additions and repurposing space at each of the three comprehensive high schools – Maple Grove Senior High, Osseo Senior High, and Park Center Senior High.
Recommendation reflected community feedback
The final recommendation, presented to the School Board on March 18, reflected community and staff feedback received over the past few months. For example, participants in community information sessions expressed a strong preference for adding space at high schools to accommodate incoming 9th graders in order to avoid school boundary changes caused by grade configuration. Along with building additions, some work will need to be done to remodel or repurpose existing space in each high school.
The additions, plus the remodeling/repurposing of some existing space, will be accomplished through capital budget planning, using state-authorized funding mechanisms, such as the lease levy, that are designed for such circumstances.
What about boundary changes?
It’s important to note that while changing grade spans will not result in boundary changes at any level, it does not mean that the district will never change school boundaries. Staff constantly monitors student enrollment and housing development. Periodic adjustments to school boundaries will continue to be necessary as populations shift in our communities and schools.
Planning will begin immediately so that grade span reconfiguration can be completed by September 2015. Staff already uses a regular annual planning cycle that incorporates many of the activities that will be needed. While a significant level of effort will be required to accomplish grade configuration, much of that work is already under way every year.