Update - Sept. 29

posted Oct 3, 2014, 9:14 AM by Lisa Griffin   [ updated Oct 3, 2014, 9:14 AM ]
Over the past week we have held two community meetings to discuss expansion. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our expansion planning night with our architect, SlaterPaull, and our contractor, JHL, as well as the Coffee with C. We understand it is not possible for everyone to attend all of our meetings so we wanted to summarize the main points. 

General Update:
  1. In 2015 we will begin our first year as K-9 school. Our 9th grade class will meet off site and our current facility will continue to house K-8. We will be at maximum room capacity, with a few Specials teachers who teach in the student’s homeroom classrooms. In 2016 we will be moving grades 6-10 into our new facility. 
  2. Our plan for expansion is to continue offering courses that are based students ability level. Regardless of a student's grade level we want them to be placed in the appropriate class based on depth, rigor and their individual ability.
  3. As we transition to our new building, we plan to implement a secondary model for grades 6-12.  Under this model we would have one building for all 6th - 12th grade students. This still allow students to take classes at their appropriate ability level, with many students working beyond traditional "grade level" classes. While we are excited about the opportunity for kids to take advanced classes, we have concerns around middle school students in the same social environment as high school students. To be proactive with our planning we are taking the following steps. 
    • Working with our architects to design the building to create separate social spaces for middle school and high school students
    • Using our daily schedule and master calendar to help dictate where and when the students interact 
    • Spending time creating a culture that embraces age disparity and promotes community, leadership and positive character values
    • This week and next we will visit other schools who currently implement the secondary model to discuss how they address implications of a 6-12 campus. 
Next Steps: We are preparing to enroll qualified students into our 9th grade for the 2015-2016 school year. During the month of October we will be hosting various parent and student engagement opportunities to begin admitting students and designing programming for the high school. Meeting topics will include high school overview, admission, electives, activities, athletics, culture and social climate. This will be directed towards current 8th grade students and their families but we welcome any and all who are interested. We will also begin work on the following:

  1. We will be meeting with Metro State College to secure space for our first year location for 9th grade students.  We are exploring the possibility of using their North Campus (120th and Grant) for the '15-'16 school year. 
  2. Having student specific engagement time with our architects and engineers to gain real life application into the design process. 
  3. Survey our students to decide offerings for foreign language, electives and athletics/activities .
  4. Incorporate feedback from existing 6-12 schools into plan and design of new building. 
  5. Host community meetings to talk exclusively about design of secondary building (science wing, commons area, math wing, adroit space, etc.) 
  6. As we continue to plan and make decisions around expansion, we will continue to hold meetings to give updates and provide opportunities for your feedback.  Moving forward our meetings will be more focused on certain areas/programs of the new building. If the proposed Bond passes we will begin to have discussion around the elementary building and Master Plan for the K-12 campus.    
Tentative Land Agreement: I am thrilled to announce that we have come to a tentative agreement on price with the land owners at the North East Corner of 144th and Washington! We are currently in the due diligence stage where soil testing, topography and city planning will commence. Once we have finished and ensure that this is the best location for the school we will go to contract with the sellers. We are very excited to be in this phase and look forward to finalizing our purchase and future of Stargate School! 

Josh
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