Parents with students at Lakota Schools could see changes next y - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Parents with students at Lakota Schools could see changes next year

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Parents with students at Lakota Schools could see some changes next year.

In a letter sent out Friday evening, the superintendent says:

  • Heritage and Hopewell elementary schools will switch to kindergarten through second grade only
  • The current second through fifth-grade students will be switched to other schools in the district

Superintendent Matthew Miller says the changes are being made are so full-day kindergarten programs can be offered to more students.

You can read the full letter below:

?Since the fall, Lakota school board members and I have been actively involved in a listening tour with staff at every building and have engaged with parents and community members at monthly coffee chats and other events. These 30 conversations, along with other opportunities we’ve had to engage with students and parents, have provided valuable insight for what is working well in our district and what areas need further attention.

Although much more was discussed and may be explored in the future, three specific topics around our students’ educational experiences emerged consistently during these meetings. They include the need for all-day kindergarten, daily specials for grades kindergarten-through-six and increased access to consistent technology in the classroom.

On Wednesday, through our monthly community video update, we announced that with the support of the school board, we are actively pursuing the implementation of these three changes for the 2018-19 school year. That same day, we also shared related information with our staff to involve them in the process.

There are many rumors circulating about our decision. The intent of the this letter is to stop misinformation from spreading.

Many decisions about implementing these exciting opportunities for all of our students must still be made. My team and I are diligently working to ensure that every decision we make is in the best interest of the kids and that we are being fiscally responsible in our decisions.

At this time, I can share with you the following information:

We will not close any buildings next year.

Students in kindergarten-through-sixth grade will attend five specials per week, all year long.

All-day kindergarten will be offered to all incoming students without having to participate in a lottery.

Students at the junior high schools will participate in a pilot program that will significantly increase the use of technology to complement traditional learning methods. The program will be extended to high school students in the near future. It’s more than just giving them devices. It’s about teaching students how to use technology as tools to think critically and solve problems in Lakota classrooms and beyond.

For the 2018-19 school year, we will adjust our building configuration so that kindergarten-through-second grade will attend early childhood schools. Grades three-through-six will attend elementary schools. This educational model better aligns with our curriculum, will improve early intervention for our youngest learners and will give our teachers more opportunity to prepare our students for the state-mandated third grade reading guarantee.

After an extensive facilities study, we have determined that two additional early childhood schools are needed to accommodate all-day kindergarten. As a result, Heritage and Hopewell Elementary Schools will change to early childhood schools in the fall.

We know that this may be difficult news for some members of the Lakota community. We also know that many questions will need to be answered, including any attendance zone changes as a result of building realignment to accommodate all-day kindergarten.

I realize change can be unsettling, but am asking for your patience while we continue to work through the specifics of this plan. As more decisions are made, we will share it with our staff and parents. I am anticipating our next communication around these changes will be sent in mid-January.

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