The grade level configuration for the soon-to-be four elementary schools in the District has been adopted. The plan approved by the School Board of Directors at its October 25th meeting develops a paired building model. Camas and Satus will be paired with Camas serving grades K-2 and those students moving to Satus for grades 3-5. Camas and Satus will also be used for the District’s Self Contained Special Education classrooms. Simcoe and Adams Elementary Schools will also be paired with Simcoe serving grades K-2 and those students moving to Adams for grades 3-5. The recommendation brought forth to the School Board was developed after input from a variety of stakeholders and much consideration over several months. The benefits of the paired school model not only honor much of the stakeholder input the District received, it also provides a more focused learning environment in each of the buildings to increase student achievement, increases safety and it provides the potential to resolve current transportation challenges. The plan also honors the requirements of the $13.7-million grant the District received to build Simcoe Elementary which is to reduce K-3 class sizes. Other elements of the plan include housing the District’s WELCOME Preschool in the pod in front of the Camas/Satus buildings and making the preschool part of the Camas building. The highly capable Challenge Program which will continue to serve all of the elementary schools will be housed either at Adams or Satus.
Now that the elementary school configuration plan has been adopted the District will be working on a system to determine student placement at each of the schools, staffing, transportation and administration. The goal is to be finished with the placement and staffing decisions by mid to late spring of 2018.
The District is extremely fortunate to have received the State K-3 Class Size Reduction Grant to build Simcoe Elementary without having to ask the local taxpayers for money through a bond initiative. Superintendent Becky Imler says Simcoe is the first step in the District’s journey to address the facility needs at the elementary schools. During the October 25th meeting she recommended that the School Board continue to have as a priority the replacement of Camas and Satus as the next part of that journey.