The school district will gather information in several areas over the coming months to support comprehensive long-term planning, primarily related to facilities. School facilities have surfaced as a common theme in conversations about teaching and learning, student activities, safety and security, and the work of the Enrollment and Capacity Management Advisory Committee.
Next-generation school facilities are the focus of one study. The findings will feed into next year’s work of the Enrollment and Capacity Management Advisory Committee, which will examine secondary building capacity. Teaching and learning staff have been visiting schools in the metro area to identify essential facility elements at middle and high schools; next fall, they will focus on best practices in classroom design.
Facilities for student activities will also be examined to identify how they compare to those among our metro area district peers.
A third area of study will consider the physical aspects of our current facilities to identify strengths and needs related to providing safe and secure schools for students and staff.
A final study will examine magnet school programming. The district has hired an independent research organization (Magnet Schools of America) to identify:
- the degree to which magnet programs reflect best practices in magnet education and are attaining desired educational outcomes
- the impact of various forms of district-level support on magnet school viability
- new thematic program opportunities the district may want to consider
The magnet school study will also delve into a question posed by the Enrollment and Capacity Management Advisory Committee regarding the implications of a potential partial solution for addressing capacity issues at certain elementary schools by relocating the STEM program from Weaver Lake Elementary to another site. This idea will require careful examination by independent reviewers this spring so that findings are available when the advisory committee reconvenes next fall.