Early Entrance to Kindergarten | South Washington County Schools
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As projected, residential development in Cottage Grove and Woodbury are expected to result in increases in district enrollment and require that the district examine whether its existing facilities are adequate to meet projected enrollment over the next ten years. Additionally, aging facilities and changes in curricular content and instructional delivery require an evaluation of the need for renovations to existing facilities.
Beginning in Decembera board approved steering committee and task force began the review of existing facility needs, as well as current and projected enrollment. Proposed in October were two packages that were intended to address the needs found through the long range facility planning effort. Planned for the high school level: The issue will be addressed during the attendance boundary discussion.
Adjust boundaries between Woodbury High School and East Ridge High School effective with the school year, with a four-year transition period. Parents may obtain the Early Entrance application by scheduling an informational meeting with the attendance boundary elementary school principal.
The school psychologist and a kindergarten teacher will also attend the meeting, which may be scheduled during the school year through late August. It is advantageous to apply before the end of the school year as the school staff have more flexibility in their schedules.
What is the application deadline? Applications may be made any time after April 1st of the year the parents or guardians wish the child to enter school and must be submitted to the Early Entrance Review Committee.
Are there costs involved in applying for Early Entrance to Kindergarten? What does the assessment for Early Entrance involve? A district licensed school psychologist will administer assessments in the areas of cognitive ability, academic, adaptive and social emotional skills.
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Parents will complete a Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale and will request input from preschool or daycare provider, if available, using a district questionnaire.
I have already had my child assessed? Results from a licensed psychologist may be submitted if the assessment was completed within the last year. Please check with the Department of Special Services to confirm that the results meet the district criteria. Can I choose the school that my child attends? Yes, with some limitations.
The referendum from did not fund technology devices. Why is the district able to fund technology and to also purchase Valley Crossing, and not have enough for operating expenses? Spending is determined by statutory guidelines that dictate where funds are spent.
Technology devices are paid through capital dollars. The levy supported technology infrastructure upgrades, not devices.
Questions regarding Q2 Has there been enough growth to justify the bond questions that will be on the ballot?
While the increase in students has been slower than anticipated, enrollment is on the rise. Within the southern portions of Woodbury, construction is again increasing, with 1, homes approved and in various stages of construction. From these homes, an estimated elementary, middle school and high school students are or will be in the district in the near future. The City of Cottage Grove has approximately homes in the approved stage and in various phases of construction.
The projected number of students would be elementary, 50 middle school, and 45 high school. The construction of the new Oltman Middle School would add middle school seats and the addition to Woodbury Middle School would add middle school seats. There has been no additional space for middle schools since an addition to Cottage Grove Middle in What is the status of middle school enrollment?
How would passing Q2 or not passing it affect our middle schools? Included in Q2 is the construction of a new Oltman Middle School anticipated for location in Cottage Grove and renovation of the existing Oltman for an elementary Spanish Immersion program. If Q2 passes we will have adequate space in our middle schools for projected enrollment for the next 10 years. With the acquisition of Valley Crossing and the additional seats at Crestview from the move of Nuevas Fronteras we will have adequate capacity at the elementary level for the next 10 years as well.
If Q2 fails, three of our middle schools would reach capacity within years. The transition of middle school immersion from Cottage Grove to Woodbury middle may not occur due to core space issues.
Additionally, middle school attendance boundaries may have to be redrawn to shift more students to Oltman Middle School. If the bond question for a new middle school is approved, when will the new Oltman Middle School open? August of for the start of the school year. Is the new middle school going to be called Oltman and what happens to the existing Oltman? Significant remodeling is proposed for the existing Oltman to become Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion and also some Community Education programs.
The move of Nuevas Fronteras will alleviate crowding at the currently shared Crestview Elementary. What improvements are planned for the remaining middle schools?
Cottage Grove and Lake Middle Schools may receive expansions to their cafeteria, orchestra classrooms, high needs instructional space and possible re-design of teacher pod areas and media center spaces dependent on the priorities established by the building administration and the budget limitations for improvements.
Why would Oltman Middle School be a good elementary school? There is no growth in the area. The Nuevas Fronteras program proposed to be located at the existing Oltman is a district-wide choice program making it ideal to locate in an area where there is no growth and an underutilized building. Will the new Oltman Middle School have a pool?
Yes, swimming is part of the middle school physical education curriculum. Each of the middle schools in the district have pools for this purpose and to support competitive swimming teams. Will we keep the existing pool at Oltman Middle after the school is converted to an elementary school? Yes, the pool would be maintained for Community Education purposes. Is a PreK program going to be part of the repurposed Oltman school?
There will be space at the school for a pre-school program if the decision is made to offer a pre-school immersion program. The renovated Oltman would be designed to house approximately students. The larger facility would accommodate additional sections in each grade level K-5 if there was interest. The additional number of students would increase one year at a time since new students would need to start at the kindergarten level and move up each year. The square footage allocation for Community education will be dependent on the scope of demolition that occurs, The redesign of the facility for elementary use and the programming requirements of Community Education.
The initial thought is that the hallway that connects OMS to the pool could be renovated and expanded to provide Community Education offices and ABE classes. Questions regarding Q3 Why is this bond needed?
What improvements in the high schools and elementary schools are included in Q3? Planned high school expansions are the classroom additions and adjustments to core areas such as the cafeterias, upgrades to activity centers, gym sound systems and electronic controls, upgrades for performing arts spaces for Park and Woodbury high schools.
Why is question 2 more important than question 3? The greatest capacity issues are at the middle school level. Inwith the change in grade configurations and an additional high school, high school issues were addressed. At that same time, elementary issues were addressed by moving 6th grade to the middle schools.
The middle schools have always housed three grade levels, with only a small addition to Cottage Grove Middle School. What construction is taking place at the elementary schools this summer? New office spaces providing enhanced security measures have been constructed with funds from the operating levy for security improvements.
The work is the first phase of a much larger HVAC replacement at those schools that will be completed in summer of Construction of new offices and secured entries will occur at Liberty Ridge, Red Rock and Cottage Grove elementary in summer of Cuts will be alleviated for that time only if Q1 for operating funds is approved.
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The district will always be looking at staffing and program efficiencies as a normal process of business, including exploring options to ensure students remain in their classrooms as much as possible throughout their day. No changes are anticipated at the middle or high school level. As a result, band and orchestra programs will be moved out of the elementary school day, and replaced with a fee for service through Community Education.
Why is Band and Orchestra consistently considered for budget reductions? As an optional program at the elementary level, band and orchestra are reconsidered frequently.
Certainly there are proven benefits to music education on student achievement.
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However, when it is not a requirement through state standards and pulls students from their core classes, disruptions occur throughout the day at elementary schools. To address this, the district will work to consider the most efficient delivery for band and orchestra even with the passage of the operating referendum Are there still plans to change delivery of music at elementary level, and if so, what are the options being considered?
There are no existing plans being considered to change music at the elementary levels. If the operating levy is not passed, budget cuts will be necessary. If the operating levy passes, will world language be added back into the elementary schools? World Language at the elementary level was eliminated not only for cost reasons, but because of the lack of licensed teachers in both Mandarin and Spanish.
Financial questions How are budget reductions determined? Budget reductions as determined last year, began with internal conversations amongst district and school administrators. Recommendations were shared with the School Board and community members at community conversations. Feedback from stakeholders was considered by administration and the School Board prior to final decision-making as the general fund budget was approved.
What cuts were made for the current school year? Revenue enhancements include medical assistance billing efficiencies and increased activity fees. If the district elected to sell the fleet there would be a large lump sum amount received by the district at the time of sale, but diminished savings in future years as a result of the loss of lease revenue.