Restructuring Option Recommended

Two options for restructuring Johnstown’s elementary schools were reviewed during the Board of Education meeting held on October 23, 2019. A slide show presentation was shared, with a recommendation by the Administration for the Board to consider pursuing Option 1. The information provided in the October 23rd presentation is available below:

Feedback for Building Options

Knox:  6th – 8th Grade Middle School

Physical Structures

  • There are enough classrooms to accommodate three grade levels (6, 7 & 8), special area classes, and support services.
  • Parking for teachers and guests would be limited.
  • Dismissal procedures would need to be reviewed and amended to ensure student safety and avoid congestion on Perry Street. Parking availability on 1st Ave between Perry Stand Glebe Street may be affected.
  • Chalkboards on the third floor of Knox would need to be replaced with whiteboards.
  • Equipment currently stored at Knox would have to be stored elsewhere, possibly at Industrial Parkway.
  • There are enough lockers to accommodate three grade levels, but additional  locks would need to be purchased.

Curriculum and Programming

  • Students would have the opportunity to experience coursework in special areas, which might include family and consumer sciences, computer applications,technology and Art/Spanish in sixth grade.
  • Some required middle school credits could be obtained in sixth grade, freeing up space in the schedule to offer more advanced coursework or possible electives?
  • The Curricular and programming benefits of moving the sixth grade to Knox are so significant that the move would be supported by the Cabinet regardless of the financial implications.  If the sixth grade moves out of Warren St, re-distributing Pre-K through fifth grade makes Curricular and economic sense.
  • A middle school plan would  need to be developed and submitted to the NYS Education Department.
  • A new course scheduling structure would need to be developed to distribute special area coursework across three grades and to incorporate advanced coursework. (Transition years would be needed to accommodate all students)
  • Lunch would have to be extended to three periods.  One of the food service workers from Glebe Street may be needed at Knox to accommodate the additional students or hours for existing staff members may need to be extended.
  • Additional student support would be needed to accommodate three grades at the middle school level. The psychologist currently split between Glebe Street and Knox could provide more services at Knox. Additional counseling or supervisory support may also be needed.
  • Additional restorative justice, anti-bullying, and other student support programming may be needed.

Community and Culture

  • Students would be in the same building for three years. Stronger school-family relationships could be fostered.
  • Moving-up ceremonies would be needed for fifth grade as well as sixth grade at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Events would need to be scheduled for families and students

Other

  • Changes to transportation routes would have to be made to move the sixth graders from the elementary runs to the secondary runs.
  • Transportation changes may be required to accommodate a student late bus.

Option 1

K-2 at Pleasant
Grades 3-5 at Warren
Grades 6-8 at Knox
PreK elsewhere

Option 2

PreK-1 at Pleasant
Grades 2-5 at Warren
Grades 6-8  at Knox

Physical Structures

  • Room space at Pleasant Avenue would be limited. Space would be more plentiful at Warren.
  • Art and music rooms at Pleasant Ave would become 2nd grade rooms.
    • The art room would move to one of the rooms currently occupied by Pre-K; a 2nd sink would need to be installed in that room.
    • Music would move into the  computer lab.  Computers would be moved to the media center. Students already have access to Chromebooks in their classrooms.This provides a classroom for enrollment fluctuations, too.
  • Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy will be located on the stage at the Pleasant Ave.
  • Physical space at Pleasant Avenue is appropriate size for K-2 (playgrounds, bathrooms)
  • Parking at Pleasant Avenue:
    • # of spaces:  52 regular & 4 handicapped
    • # of staff members at peak hours: 59
  • Parking at Warren Street:
    • #of spaces:  60 regular & 6 handicapped
    • # of staff members at peak hours: 59 (overflow parking behind the high school)
  • Dismissal procedures will need to be reviewed and amended to accommodate the additional full-day classes at Pleasant Ave.
  • Classroom supplies and equipment will need to be moved from Glebe to PA and/or Warren.

Physical Structures

  • Room space would .limited at Warren St.  Space would be more plentiful at Pleasant Ave.
  • Computer lab would need to be used for AIS. Students would have access to Chromebooks in their classrooms.
  • Space currently being used to provide speech services would need to be used for AIS. Space currently used as storage would need to be used for speech services.
  • Special education room and safe room would have to be relocated to Pleasant Ave or Knox, or the computer lab would have to be expanded to make a regular-size classroom if an additional section of a grade level is needed.
  • Some modifications to bathrooms and playground equipment may be needed to accommodate the primary-age students.
  • Parking at Pleasant Avenue:
    • # of spaces:  52 regular & 4 handicapped
    • # of staff members at peak hours: 55
  • Parking at Warren Street:
    • # of spaces:  60 regular & 6 handicapped
    • # of staff members at peak hours: 69 (overflow parking behind the high school)
  • Dismissal procedures will need to be reviewed and amended to accommodate the additional grade at Warren Street.
  • Classroom supplies  and equipment will need to be moved from Glebe to PA and/or Warren.

Curriculum & Planning

  • The reading teacher and reading teaching assistant from Glebe can move to Pleasant Ave with 2nd Grade to provide intensive literacy support.
  • Grades K-2 are key years for literacy development. Having K-2 together would allow for flexibility in grouping  and meeting students’ needs for literacy instruction.
  • Speech services could be concentrated  at Pleasant Avenue to focus on early developmental needs.
  • Lunch and recess schedules at Pleasant Ave would have to be extended to accommodate the additional grade.  One food service helper from Glebe Street may be needed to accommodate the additional volume.
  • Grades 3-5 together aligns with the NYS Testing Program. Students in Grades 3-5 would be together to address content areas at a deeper·level.
  • Math teaching assistant from Glebe would move to Warren to provide additional support in mathematics.
  • Shared staff (art, music & PE teachers, counselors, psychologists) would be more accessible for scheduling and communication if only shared across four buildings.
  • 3rd graders  may have access to Swimming lessons. Students in Grades 3-5 would be exposed to academic and
  • character  development programs at Warren Street (Second Step, Anti-bullying/Olweus, System 44 & Read 180)

Curriculum & Planning

  • The reading teacher and reading TA from Glebe will move to Warren St to provide literacy support for grades 2 & 3.
  • 2nd graders  may have access to swimming lessons. Physical education classes would be doubled up to accommodate four grades with the physical space and number of time slots available.
  • Additional administrative supervision and support, as well as additional support personnel, may be needed to handle four grades in one building.
  • Lunch and recess schedules at Warren Street would have to be ex-tended to accommodate the additional grade.  One food service helper from Glebe Street may be needed to accommodate the additional volume.
  • Grades 3-5 together aligns with the NYS Testing Program. Students in Grades 3-5 would be together to address content areas at a deeper·level.
  • Math teaching assistant from Glebe would move to Warren to provide additional support in mathematics.
  • Shared staff (art,music & PE teachers, counselors, psychologists) would be more accessible for scheduling and
  • communication if only shared across four buildings.
  • 3rd graders  may have access to swimming lessons. Students in Grades 3-5 would be exposed to academic and character  development programs at Warren Street (Second Step, Anti-bullying/Olweus, System 44 & Read 180)

Community & Culture

  • Students in K-2 and 3-5 will be in the same building for 3 years. Stronger school-family relationships could be developed.

Community & Culture

  • Students will be in the same building for 3 years at Pleasant Ave and for 4 years at Warren St.  Stronger school-family relationships could be developed

Pre-K

  • Pre-K is stand-alone programming run by collaborators at Pleasant Ave at the present time.  This would not change if Pre-K moves out of the building.
  • Pre-K does not interact with Kindergarten and 1st grade very much under the current arrangements.
  • Pre-K may be able to move to the large rooms near the playground at Jansen.
    • Those rooms are already equipped with bathrooms designed to accommodate primary school students.
  • Pre-K would be separated from the rest of the building and would have a separate entrance.
  • Pre-K students vvill make an extra building transition

Pre-K

  • Pre-K would start to learn the building culture and behavioral expectations at Pleasant Ave.
  • Pre-K could participate in school-wide programming at Pleasant Ave
  • Lunch accommodations would need to be made for full-day Pre-K
  • Relationships with Pre-K families would be built and expectations would be consistent when the students move to kindergarten.

 

 

Other

  • Transportation routes and shuttle runs would need to be reviewed and amended.

Other

  • Transportation routes and shuttle runs would need to be reviewed and amended.

BEDS Day 2018

BEDS Day 2018 figures

 

BEDS Day 2019

Beds Day 2019 figures

Recommendation:

Knox Middle School: Grades 6-8

  • Cabinet supports this change regardless of financial implications
  • Academically and Socially “Good for Kids”
  • Increase program options for students

Option 1 (Pre-K Off Site, K-2, 3-5, 6-9, 9-12)

  • Three or more years in each school strengthens connections; Fewer transitions for students and families
  • Instructional program alignment; Aligns with NYS Testing Program and NGLS
  • School-centered Instructional support specialists
  • Physical space developmentally appropriate
  • Appropriate social and emotional age groupings

Potential recurring increase in revenues and decrease in expenses equate to up to 4% of the current tax levy.

Considerations and Timeline

  • Advisement for sale/rental of Glebe St. School – Immediately
  • Complete NYSED forms for Knox changes – December 2019
  • Prepare Project Budget – December 2019
    • Determine work scope
  • Logistics Plan – January 2020
  • Staffing Projections – January 2020
  • Traditions and Transitions – Cabinet Meeting November 2019
  • Arrival and Dismissal Procedures – Completed before May 1, 2020
  • Program Impact – Determine by March 1, 2020
    • Student schedules and courses
    • Specials
    • Lunch
    • Student services

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