Archive for Thursday, February 26, 2004

School Board to decide on sixth-grade center

District advisory council recommends formation of new school

February 26, 2004

Next month, the Basehor-Linwood School Board will decide whether a building at 155th Street and Leavenworth Road will be refitted into a school to house all sixth-grade students in the district by next year.

On March 8, the school board is scheduled to decide on the proposal, which would essentially move the Basehor-Linwood Virtual School from the their building, allowing the entire sixth-grade class to move in.

With limited space at the middle school and at Basehor and Glenwood Ridge elementary schools, the school district is looking for a solution to a space crunch caused by the possible enrollment of new students.

The Virtual School would relocate to rooms inside Basehor-Linwood High School if school officials move forward with the sixth-grade center.

This week, on Monday night, the school district advisory council met to discuss the proposed new sixth-grade center. Of the 60 or so members attending, a majority felt the sixth-grade center would be the most appropriate option.

To battle an influx of new students and the lack of space caused by a growing enrollment, the school district has discussed four options in dealing with the overcrowding.

Those four options include:

  • Holding the status quo.
  • Switching classrooms currently used for the fine arts into rooms for traditional classes. This option would include fine art teachers traveling room to room, with class supplies on carts, for classes.
  • Implementing the sixth-grade center.
  • Using mobile classrooms.

Of those options, the sixth-grade center is the most feasible, school officials said.

With 45 to 55 new students expected next year, the district can't afford to do nothing. Also, research has shown that students don't do well when teachers have to shuffle from room to room, with all their material on carts. Finally, buying mobile classrooms, at an estimated cost of $103,000 per unit, has been deemed a waste of money.

The district advisory council shares the same line of thinking, said Jill Hackett, school district superintendent. On Monday night, approximately 60 members split into six groups to discuss the space crunch.

"By and large, the majority of people believe a sixth-grade center is the best option," Hackett said.

The advisory council's recommendation is an example of why the group was formed, the superintendent added.

"This is absolutely the reason we have a district advisory council," she said, "so people could come to some kind of consensus for everyone considered."

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