Grade Level Center Plan

Last Updated: 1/12/2022 6:30 PM

 

 

 

Planning for the Future

 

The proposed plan calls for a reconfiguration of three of the four existing elementary buildings into Grade Level Centers. Grade Level Centers will allow us to come together as a school community to deliver consistent and high-quality education for all students by combining resources and increasing efficiency. The idea of “We Are ALL Hatchets” will grow and unite us as a school community that will support students throughout their educational careers. Relationships will become strengthened among students and grade level teachers alike.

The idea to move Washington Community Schools towards Grade Level Centers has been reviewed and discussed by several school and public leaders over the past 17+ years. With the near completion of the I-69 corridor, WCS sees that the time is right to move forward. Grade level Centers will continue our leadership as a forward-thinking district committed to serving the needs of ALL our students.

In 2021, the district administration met with elementary teachers and staff, as well as parental focus groups from each of the buildings to evaluate current programming, grade level, transportation pros and challenges, and financial implications. This work served to provide the Board of School Trustees sufficient information in determining whether to reconfigure the educational delivery system within the current facilities.

 

Proposed Layout of Buildings

 

The proposed plan calls for Griffith Elementary to become a Pre-K - 1st Grade school with an enhanced focus on early childhood development and early literacy skills. Lena Dunn Elementary will house 2nd - 4th grades and North Elementary will hold 5th - 6th grades. Veale Elementary will continue as a traditional K - 4th-grade school. 

 

map of grade level centers


 

Improved Instruction

 

  • Balanced class sizes across all grades with a goal of a 20:1 average student-teacher ratio at the primary and intermediate levels

  • Instruction can be better targeted to meet the specific developmental needs of students at each grade level 

  • Increased grade level teacher collaboration time contributes to higher student achievement. Improved instruction, sharing of strategies, teacher mentorship and professional development, better use of data to support instruction

  • Consistency of instruction: consistent preparation for student assessments, student expectations are the same across grade levels

  • Title 1 Benefits to reach more students in need to strengthen early reading skills for all students

  • 5th/6th model: Teachers primarily teach the subject in which they are strongest, providing students with a gradual increase in personal responsibility that eases the transition to Jr. High School 

  • Looping: in some instances, students could have the same teacher for two years, allowing teachers to develop stronger relationships with students

 

Opportunity for Additional Programs

 

  • STEM: Expanded STEM programming, reduced cost of shared STEM/Robotics kits and materials, add Project Lead the Way Launch 

  • Project-Based Learning opportunities tailored to specific age groups. 

  • More Activities: Band and Choir classes, expanded athletics programs, clubs, and theatre to 5th/6th grades to boost student engagement

  • Designated High Ability classrooms 

  • Dual Immersion Class: a bilingual education cohort in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages

  • Expand the Pre-Kindergarten program to include more students

  • Kids at Hope Model Expanded district-wide

  • After School Care Program

 

One Mascot Strengthens Our Community

 

The name “Hatchets” is unique among school mascots. No other high school or college uses the “Hatchets” nickname for its teams. 

We want to create a school community where all students are Washington Hatchets, from Pre-K to graduation. One mascot for all will create a unified identity, a sense of belonging, and pride in our schools. The Hatchet mascot unites us under one name. 

WE ARE THE HATCHETS!

 

Keeping Veale Connected to Washington Community Schools

  • Incoming K-4 Veale district students can choose to enroll in the corresponding grade level center building.  School Bus Transportation will be provided.

  • Technology (Google Meet and other tools) will be utilized for classrooms to partner with grade-level center grades/classrooms on curriculum projects.

  • District-wide consistent curriculum mapping is currently in place.

  • For special in-person curriculum events that occur through the year by grade level, the Veale classroom will travel to participate in the activity.

 

 

Transportation

 

One of the biggest challenges of making the change to Grade Level Centers is transportation. The Administration and Transportation Department have been working closely with a consultant over several months and have created bus routes to solve transportation issues. 

  • Schools will open at 7:30 am to allow time for drop-off.

  • Busses will travel to all three elementary schools in town so that elementary siblings will ride the same bus and arrive home together as they do now. 

  • Eliminate double routing in the Veale area and utilize those 2-3 buses in overcrowded neighborhoods, saving unnecessary fuel costs.

  • Bus Stops are similar to current practice, with AM pick up similar to that of 2019.

  • PM student drop-off time at home will remain similar to this year, M-F. (No Early Release Wednesdays for the 2022-23 school year.)

  • Reduced number of elementary student riders on secondary level routes.

  • Fewer transfers at the high school will improve efficiency and student safety.

  • Most elementary students will ride one bus both ways (to and from school) eliminating most transfers and increasing safety.

  • Assistance by the Washington Police Department for ease of buses in afternoon dismissal.

  • Stagger release times for buses, walkers, and car riders.

  • Those families living in the Veale district who choose for their children to attend Grade Level Centers will have transportation provided. 

  • Signage added at each location to assist in providing direction for cars, buses, and hours.

  • Possible addition of after school programs to ease pickup times

 

transportation routes

 

Washington Primary Pick-up/Drop-off

Washington primary pick up map

 

  • Car riders will be dropped off and picked up on the southeast side of the school.

  • The Southeast parking lot will be utilized to stretch out the pick-up line.

  • Bus drop off and loading to happen on the north side of the building.  This location allows for buses to leave and return to Business 50 in an efficient manner.

 

Washington Intermediate School Pick-up/Drop-off 

Washington Intermediate school pick up map

 

  • Car riders dropped off and picked up on the south side entrance.

  • Bus riders dropped off and picked up on the northeast side entrance.

 

 

Washington Upper Elementary Pick-up/Drop-off

Washington upper elementary pick up map

 

  • Car riders dropped off and picked up on the southwest side of the building.

  • Bus riders dropped off and picked up on the northeast side entrance.

  • District and INDOT collaboration to move crosswalk on SR 57 north of the current location.

 

 

 

Typical Schedule (Tentative)

 

AM

7:30 Doors open for car riders, Buses:  First load of students, permitted to go to breakfast or supervised area

7:40 Buses second load of students

7:55 Buses third load of students

8:05 Tardy Bell

8:15 Veale Tardy Bell

 

PM

2:40 Buses pull away from the first stop

2:50 Buses pull away from the second stop

3:00 Buses pull away from the third stop

3:25 Veale buses 


 

Timeline

 

  • December 2021- Hold a public meeting to gather input from parents. 

  • January-February 2022 - Gather input from administrators, teachers, and staff.  Submit forms to formalize change with the IDOE and restructure our Title 1 plan. 

  • February - May 2022 - Planning/Organization, Begin Transition

  • June - July 2022 - Transition

  • July 2021 - Open Houses

  • August 2022 - Restructuring completed, first day of school is August 3, 2022.