The path to education could offer more choices for Pueblo D60 students, but the road getting there would require major changes. Changes the district feels could improve academic achievement.
Some high schools would be turned into PreK-12th grade schools. For example, Carlile Elementary would combine with Central High School, plus add middle school students.
Other changes include four elementary schools closing, nine elementary schools adding 6th graders, and four middle schools would be realigned; basically turning them into Academies with a specific focus.
“Ranging from Pre-advanced placement type course work at the middle school level, a more science and tech focus, and International Baccalaureate program at the middle school,” said Greg Sinn, D60 Communications Director.
The district says they want to get away from cookie cutter education, so students have more options.
“By creating these focused choices for our students we think it's going to energize them, we think its going to excite them, and we think their outcome academically will be superior,” said Sinn.
The proposed changes already have some parents and students worried. At Carlile Elementary they are lining the streets asking to keep their school open.
The plan proposes to close Carlile, Spann, Somerlid, and Beulah Heights elementary schools. The new plan would spare Hellbeck and Bradford, both of which were originally targeted for closure.
The district says the closures may be necessary as the budget keeps tightening. They also feel they can better utilize the buildings in the declining-enrollment district.
The board won’t take action until early 2012, and it will take a few years to implement.
The entire plan can be viewed by visiting the district’s website at: www.pueblo60.k12.co.us.
You can also give your opinion at a public hearing set for December 7 at 6 p.m. at South High School.
Tuesday night the board also voted to remove any proposal to move certain fifth-graders to middle schools.
The middle school proposal was presented to the school board Tuesday night by the middle school realignment group, which is a subcommittee of the District Realignment Project.
They looked at middle schools programming, student achievement, choice, and facility efficiencies when coming up with their proposal. They created a number of different options to address the district’s declining enrollment numbers and declining achievement scores at the middle school level.
Here is a more detailed look at some of the major changes proposed:
Shift from PreK-5th grade to a PreK-6th grade model at many elementary schools.
Develop a 7th-12th grade middle-high school focus on the International Baccalaureate program.
Form an early childhood center in the East Side quadrant which will include preschool and kindergarten.
Create a PreK-12th grade academy.
Establish a 7th and 8th grade middle school academy that focuses on performing arts and advance placement.
Implement a PreK-12th grade academy focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math; also known as a STEM Academy.
Form a 6-12th grade alternative education academy.