Expansion FAQs

This FAQ section is broken up into three sections: The first section captures FAQs from the Community meeting. The next two sections correspond with the two phases of expansion. 

Phase One includes adding one kindergarten and two first-second grade classrooms in 2014 with 23-24 students in each class leading to a total growth of 71 qualified K-2 students. Phase Two includes starting a high school program beginning with 50-60 9th graders in 2015 and growing one grade at a time leading to a projected population of 500 students in grades 9-12 for the 2018-2019 school year.
Community Q and A session from Expansion Plan Discussion 1.15.14

Q: Will the admissions requirements be lowered to add more students in the proposed plan for K-2 grades? 

        A: No, Our admission criteria will not change. Students must qualify based on FSIQ score. 

Q: What are the target high school and middle school enrollments? 

        A: 125 students per grade level 6-12. 

Q: How many current Stargate students are enrolled and what is the current bond ratio? 

        A: There are currently around 650 Stargate students, with around 620 funded students. A minimum of 610 funded students could support our current bond. 

Q: What will happen to the current Stargate 8th graders? A high school would not be built in time for them to enter 9th grade. 

        A: Current 8th graders will go to a different H.S as has been the norm. We are still exploring the possibility of a current 8th grader being admitted to the H.S as a 10th grader. 

Q: A big pull toward Stargate for us was the daily exposure to Specials as well as the excellent after school program. How will those change if the school expands? 

        A: We will still have a A/B daily specials rotation. Eagles Landing will expand as needed to accommodate more students. 

Q: Will there be an after school care program for the middle school? 

        A: Yes. 

Q: Will there be a different principal for the new middle school? 

        A: Yes. 

Q: What happens if K-2 is expanded and then for some reason the separate middle school doesn't happen? 

        A: Phase 1 of the expansion plan includes both K-2 expansion in 2014 and a separate middle school for 2016. 

Q: It was mentioned that, for the past 2 years, the Stargate middle school has been fully enrolled. Do we know why it was not fully enrolled prior to that? 

        A: Many 6th and 7th graders were leaving to attend their home school in AD 12. Due to our academic rigor and increased extracurricular offerings we have been able to retain them over the past            couple of years. We are hoping that parents are very satisfied with their experience at Stargate and want their student to continue on here. 

Q: What will happen to the schedules for drop off/pick up with regards to families with children at both facilities? 

        A: This will be taken into consideration when establishing drop off/pick up times for different grades. We may have separate start and end times for the elementary and middle school. 

Q: Will the Stargate High School meet the NCAA Clearinghouse Requirements? 

        A: College Admissions requirements should already align with the Clearinghouse requirements. We expect Stargate students to easily exceed the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements. 

Q: Where will the burden of the bond fall? 

        A: In the long-term, the burden will fall onto enrollment. There are various grants that Stargate is pursuing to lower the initial cost of expanding. 

Q: What about a design team to design a new facility? 

        A: Stargate has not hired a third party at this time, but plans to utilize one to ensure all goes smoothly with the design and construction of a new facility 

Q: How long will it take for the high school to get ranked? 

        A: Various measures of rank will require different time tables. 

Q: Will next year's 5th grade class be a stand-alone class, and not looped with 6th grade? 

        A: Yes 

Q: How is the district receiving this expansion plan? 

        A: In Stargate's recent charter renewal, the intent to expand to a K-12 school was made transparent. 

Q: Has Stargate received any opposition regarding these expansion plans? 

        A: Very little negative feedback has been received from the community. 

Q: Won't there be a discrepancy with class rankings for college admissions if all students within a class are gifted? 

        A: While some colleges do consider class rank for admission, other items are also considered. Our hope is that all of our students will be competitive for college admission regardless of class               rank. 

Q: With Phase 1 of the expansion plan, there will be 8 classes of grades 1/2. Would it be better to just split up 1st and 2nd grade? 

        A: Stargate is currently exploring different scenarios to best suit students to accommodate possible expansion. 

Q: Does Phase 1 of the expansion plan have happen to support 2? 

        A: Phase 2 is dependent on Phase 1. 

Q: Why are the numbers so small for the initial 9th grade class? 

        A: Stargate is seeking 50 students minimum for the initial 9th grade class. The ultimate goal is 125-150 students per grade level, but for the first year of Phase 2 expansion facilities will ultimately            determine the initial size of the 9th grade class. 

Q: We are concerned about technology being spread thinner within the school with more students attending and want students to continue learning tech skills. Will this happen? 

        A: In the short-term, things may need to be shifted around a little to accommodate more students. Stargate does have mobile tech labs as well as many other technology resources (netbooks,                smart projectors, iPads, etc) that will still be easily accessible and available to students. 

Q: When would the middle school separate from the current building if Phase 1 expansion happens this fall? 

        A: 2016 

Q: Has Stargate considered a K-12 facility? 

        A: Ideally, we would love to have a K-12 facility. However, that would require a very large amount of space that would be difficult to acquire given the money owed on the current facility. 

Q: When would Phase 2 be voted on? 

        A: March 2013 

Q: If a large interest is shown in the first 9th grade class, will the student size be limited to 50 students? 

        A: We would like to admit all qualified students, but consideration must be given to the size of facility that will house the initial class. 

Q: Will the 1st Stargate 9th grade class be comprised of only Stargate students (from 8th grade the previous year)? 

        A: It would depend on the interest of those Stargate families. If others are interested, are determined as qualified students, and space is available to accommodate more students, then ideally they        would be accommodated. 

Q: What is the cost model for operating a K-8? 

        A: Our current facility would be able to support a middle school, although it would be tight. K-5 Operations revenue will not go toward the middle school. We expect the middle school to be able to         support itself. 

Q: Will the school give a survey to the current Stargate families to see whether or not Stargate families are even interested in a high school? 

        A: We could. Discussion with families regarding interest in a Stargate high school should start in the current 7th grade families, as they would be the first 9th grade class. 

Q: Twice in the past, the creation of a high school has been brought up and considered and didn't pan out. Why are we hoping this time will be different? 

        A: There were far less Stargate 7th and 8th graders at that time, so possibly there wouldn't be enough enrollment to support the opening of a high school. We are also finding that parents are                currently concerned with their high school student's academic needs not being met in a traditional public school setting. 

Q: What would happen to a 5th grader who, based on needs-based learning, is placed in a middle school math/literacy class. The K-5 school and the 6-8 school would be on different campuses. How would Stargate accommodate students in this situation? 

        A: We would find a way to align schedules between the two schools so that students can be transported back and forth to accommodate their needs and placement within appropriate leveled                classes. 

FAQs for Phase One (adding one extra class to Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade)

Q: What are the benefits of expanding K-2?


A: If we expand, students and families who may never get to experience the Stargate Way will be provided the opportunity to experience our gifted program. Expanding K-2 will lead to a self sustaining elementary school in our current facility by 2016 allowing us to build a new off site middle school (and potential high school) with state of the art facilities.  As an elementary site we will have access to two science labs and additional technology that is currently used by our junior high.  


Q: What are long-term implications on facilities if we expand K-2 for the 2014-2015 school year?


A: If K-2 is expanded then our middle school (grades 6-8) will move into a new location 2016-2017, and the current building will house K-5. If Phase Two is accepted this new location will include middle school and high school (grades 6-12).


Q: What are the short-term implications on facilities if we expand K-2 for the 2014-2015 school year?


A: Over the next two years, until 6th - 8th grade moves to a new location, we will need four additional classrooms. The Para workroom, Learning services room, downstairs computer lab, and upstairs computer lab (2015) will become classrooms. The Para workroom will move to the conference room, Learning services will move to the teacher lounge, the downstairs computer lab will move to Room 108, and the upstairs computer lab will be replaced with an additional mobile laptop cart.


Q: What are the barriers to K-2 expansion?


A: Over the next two years we anticipate a few changes to meet the needs of our growing population.

Specials: We are making decisions so students are afforded the same amount of specials options

Lunch/Recess: We are building schedules so we have like aged students on the playground and cafeteria during lunch and recess.  

Space: As we grow out of this building we will utilize every possible space/room to accommodate growth and space will be tight. 

5th and 6th grade split: We recognize that developmentally 5th and 6th grade students mature very differently and that the fifth grade year is often a very difficult transitional year. Since 6th grade will be moving into the middle school,  we will split this loop next year. Current 5th grade students will move up to be part of our 6th-8th grade middle school and current 4th graders will be in a non-looped 5th grade. Overnights will still take place as has been the Stargate Way, 5th grade will have a separate outdoor education experience than 6th grade.


FAQs for Phase Two (Expanding to a High School)


Q: Will there be highly qualified teachers in each of the core areas?


A: We will ensure highly qualified teachers not only in core areas but elective areas as well. This is a federal requirement as part of No Child Left Behind Act (2001).


Q:  How do we identify future leaders as we grow?


A:This school year we began a leadership pipeline. Staff members were asked to identify areas in which they would like to focus their own professional growth. The areas of current staff focus for those who seek it are Gifted Specialist, Professional Development, and Administration. We are very excited for our staff to grow as professionals as our school grows.


Q: What is the long term plan for facilities if Stargate moves to K-12?


A: The plan at full build out is for Stargate to have our K-5 elementary at the current location and our 6-8 middle and 9-12 high school at a new location. At this new location, we plan to have a separate buildings for middle school and high school with the opportunity to share common facilities (gyms, fields, lunch room, etc.) We currently have a Facilities Committee looking at different locations in the Adams 12 boundary that can support the expansion.

 

Q: Will we be able to offer a full curriculum including electives and advanced courses?


A: Our vision as we plan our high school programming is to offer classes commensurate with our students’ ability levels as well as offer the widest range of elective offerings possible. While it is not feasible for any high school to offer every class every student wants, we are committed to create our programming around student requests. We currently have a Graduation Requirement Committee researching colleges and universities across the country and even the world to help us determine the programming and course offerings that will allow our students to excel at that next level of education.


Q: Will high school students have an opportunity to be involved in extracurricular and co-curricular activities such as sports and clubs?


A: We are currently exploring participating in 3A (based on size of school) CHSAA sanctioned  athletics and co-curricular activities.  The high school will continue our K-8 vision to offer our students a wide range of sports and club offerings. In most cases, Stargate students wanting to join a sport or club not offered at Stargate can do so at their neighborhood high school.


Q:What is the high school admissions policy?


A: We currently have an Admissions Requirement Committee researching admissions requirements for the high school. Students attending Stargate in 8th grade will automatically qualify and have a seat for Stargate High School should they wish to attend. We are still looking at admissions requirements for students wishing to apply from an outside school.


Q: How will the high school expansion be paid for?


A: The expansion of Stargate Middle School and ultimately Stargate High School will be a two phase project funded by the increasing enrollments at the middle school and high school level.  Land acquisition and building costs will be financed with a separate bond issue for these facilities. Operating costs will be covered by student enrollment.

By expanding enrollment in Stargate Elementary (K-5) as the middle school is moved out, Stargate Elementary will permanently stabilize with enrollment between 630 and 650 students.