Beginning Fall 2019, the Normandy Schools Collaborative will reconfigure the current elementary model, going from elementary schools with grades 1-6 to grades 1-8 or what is also known as the 'elemiddle' model (similar to parochial school or some charter schools). Below are some of the questions we have received from parents and community members, along with the answers.
Q. How will you have space for the 7th and 8th graders returning to the elementary schools?
A. As part of the Prop N funds, we are going to incorporate facility additions at the current elementary schools. We will also transition the current Normandy Kindergarten Center (former Bel-Nor Elementary) to a grades 1-8 school, which will also receive facility upgrades. (The Normandy Kindergarten Center will be a part of the new Early Learning Center, also slated to open fall 2019.)
Q. Are you concerned about having pre-teens and teenagers in a school with first and second graders?
A. That concern was voiced during our community engagement sessions leading up to our decision to change the school configuration. We are working with our architects to incorporate the school-within-a-school aspect in the design. This configuration will keep the older students away from the younger ones, while providing the older students space for exploratory courses and other age-appropriate curricula.
Q. How will you handle older students on the bus with the younger ones?
A. We will work with our Transportation department to develop bus routes to have the older students (7th & 8th graders) on separate buses. This is a routing issue that can be managed.
Q. How will you determine which N78C staff go to which elementary school?
A. The administration is developing a Human Resources plan to determine which staff will go to what schools and in what capacity. We will still need staff with the appropriate certification and experience with the middle school students as these students will still be taught in a way that best meets the needs of this age group. We will also provide the necessary professional development and opportunities to gain needed certifications to ensure the social and academic needs of students in grades 7 & 8 are met.
Q. Will the 7th and 8th graders still have their exploratory subjects as part of the curriculum?
A. Yes. Students will still have the same scheduling options and will still change classes like they would in a traditional middle or junior high school.
Q. How will the middle school sports and other extracurricular activities be handled?
A. The middle school sports programs have been coordinated at the district level and that will remain the same in this configuration. The new configuration will require transportation and other resources, but the students will still represent Normandy as one team and continue to compete in the current leagues as they do today.