Students in the Lakota School District could see changes next year, including all-day kindergarten, daily specials for grades kindergarten-through-six and increased access to consistent technology in the classroom, according to a letter sent home with students Friday from Superintendent Matthew J. Miller.
In the letter, Miller announced:
• The district, which has 16,000 students, 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.
• For the 2018-19 school year, the district will adjust its building configuration so that kindergarten-through-second grade will attend early childhood schools. Grades three-through-six will attend elementary schools.
• After an extensive facilities study, the district 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.
These decisions were announced at this week and the district is “actively pursuing” the implementation of these three changes for the 2018-19 school year.
Since the fall, Miller and Lakota school board members 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, he wrote in the letter. These 30 conversations, along with other opportunities, have provided “valuable insight” for what is working well in the district and what areas need further attention, he wrote.