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Roosevelt School to Expand from K-5 to K-6

Community rallies around expansion, which will offer students different options after graduation at no extra cost to the district.

Fifth graders’ tearful pleas at Wednesday night’s board meeting were met with a unanimous vote: Roosevelt School would be expanded from K-5 to K-6.  

Emphasizing the district's motto of "schools of choice," this Roosevelt expansion is one example of providing more options to students in the district. Roosevelt teaches students through project-based learning, which utilizes long-term more in-depth investigations that teach students critical thinking skills.

Numerous fifth graders from Roosevelt expressed their love for the school in front of the entire board.

“Please expand our school, because it’s awesome,” fifth grader Michelle Bejarano said to the board. “I would not want to have to go to middle school next year and not see all my teachers again.”

Four students even performed a song about why the school should expand to K-6. After the resolution passed, jubilant parents and students could be heard celebrating in the lobby. 

This expansion would not cost the district any additional money, and the campus has the space to open the two sixth grade classrooms, according to Superintendent Jan Christensen. It also has the capacity to train the two new teachers in project-based learning, according to the request presented to the board.

With help from the Roosevelt Expansion Committee, Christensen said she studied similar programs in urban districts in Philadelphia and other schools.

“There was no discernible data that clearly said which configuration was best,” she said.

However, she said this expansion did not mean the school would become a K-8 school and that more research would have to take place.

To smooth the transition from Roosevelt  into non-project-based learning middle schools, MIT (McKinley Institute of Technology) principal Ray Dawley said he’d be interested in offering a project-based learning track during seventh and eighth grade.

Lori McBride May 12, 2011 at 01:57 PM
I remember when my son was in 5th grade at Roosevelt (1997) and Ron Crates, Superintendent, announced that there would no longer be a 6th grade at Roosevelt. I was not thrilled about my son moving on to Kennedy Middle School for 6th grade. I was worried about moving from an elementary school community to a larger environment with older students. But Kennedy turned out to be a wonderful experience with many more electives and opportunities provided than he would have received at Roosevelt. I can understand the Roosevelt students and parents wanting to continue with project based learning, so it's great to hear that MIT's principal, Ray Dawley, is interested in offering this.
Rosa Calderon May 12, 2011 at 05:03 PM
I agree with Lori, I was also concerned when my kids got promoted from Roosevelt to Kennedy. There was no need to be concerned, Kennedy offered a broader experience and preparation for High School than Roosevelt could have offered.
Kathi Petrick May 13, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Well as a former Kennedy parent, Both my girls had a wonderful experience there. They seclude the 6th graders in their own area plus they have a separate lunch hour. They actually have some of the finest 6th grade teachers at Kennedy. So with that said, it really is a split improvement.. It may be beneficial to stay in the same school but with puberty hitting around that age I believe they need to grow in their own environment & not be having recess with 3rd graders... Aslso, when they do end up going to one of the Middle Schools, they will not be connected with the other children who already have been there one year... I have seen this with the Adelante kids... Before anyone makes judgement to Kennedy, they need to spend some quality time there as I have the past 8 years. So, I have to agree with Rose Calderon...There are or perhaps were depending on the budget cuts..more opportunites at Kennedy.
Kathi Petrick May 13, 2011 at 05:40 PM
Lori & her husband have always been very actively involved in our public school system..It is fine parents like them that keep our community strong!

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