Port Angeles School Board approves long-range plan for school configuration

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles School Board voted unanimously Thursday night to pursue a long-range plan to move sixth grade to middle school and close an elementary school.

Board members said that nothing would happen quickly, but that they agreed to consider implementing the changes sometime in the next decade.

“It is important to remember this is a long-range goal, not an immediate fix,” Superintendent Jane Pryne said.

The district configuration now is elementary schools housing pre-kindergarten through sixth grades, middle school composed of seventh and eighth grades and high school consisting of freshmen through seniors.

In the new plan, elementary schools would have no grade higher than fifth and sixth grade would move to the middle school.

Task Force members said that the proposed configuration would increase academic opportunities for sixth graders at the middle school level, and provide economic advantages in having four elementary schools versus five.

Board members did not discuss which school would be closed.

Strategy for future

“This is important information to give to the pre-bond planning committee so its members can use the information in future strategizing for the Port Angeles School District,” Pryne said.

The board approved an initial recommendation Dec. 12 that it move forward with asking voters to pass a bond up to the district’s bonding capacity to build a new high school.

At the same time, the board gave the task force an extension until June 30 to research K-8 delivery models and infrastructure that address the district’s long-term facilities, technology and educational needs.

Long-Range Facilities Task Force Task Force members Tabatha Meadows, Michelle Olsen, Steve Methner and Kelly Person presented the recommendation on behalf of the 60-member group.

The task force, which met monthly between January and April, analyzed six configuration models.

They evaluated economic and demographic projections representing anticipated enrollment capacity needed over the next five, 10 and 20 years.

They also considered the physical condition and technological value of all district properties.

School configuration options considered were:
■ Leaving the current configuration in place
■ Pre-K-8.
■ Banding, PreK-3, 4-6.
■ PreK-5, 6-8, 9-12.
■ PreK-12;
■  Smaller Learning Communities.

The Task Force includes staff from each of the schools, as well as parents and community members.

The Task Force final reports, meeting information and suggested readings are located on the district website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-paschoolstaskforce.

Last modified: June 06. 2014 1:33PM
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