The Waynesville R-VI School Board of Education voted on Tuesday, Feb. 7, to have kindergarten through fifth-grade students attend East Elementary and Freedom Elementary starting with the 2017-18 school year. Letters are going home to East and Freedom parents today.
“We want to create a small neighborhood-style school atmosphere even in our larger elementary schools and this will allow us to do so,” said Dr. LeRoy Fulmer, board president. “While we are making this move for academic reasons, parents will probably be happy to know that this move will eliminate the bus waves between East and Freedom starting next year.”
The district will host K-5 Realignment informational sessions for parents and their students on:
· Tuesday, March 28, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at East Elementary
· Thursday, April 6, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Freedom Elementary
Parents and students may attend either session, regardless of their current school.
Within each building, students will attend smaller school houses – or schools within a school – to foster stronger relationships with families. There will be at least two sections of each grade level in each house.
“Students benefit the most from the house concept. Studies show that positive family relationships help improve student academic performance of all students, including subgroups,” Henry said. “To further promote the small-school feel, off-post students in grades K-5 who are from the same family will attend the same house.”
As defined by DESE, the subgroup includes special education, low-income, minority groups and English Language Learners.
The primary reason for moving to houses is to improve academic performance. The benefits include:
- Improved academic performance and relationships. Building relationships with families and students in smaller environments improves student performance over time.
- Fewer transitions. Students will be able to remain at the same building for grades K-5.
- Students will spend less time on a bus. There will be no bus waves between East and Freedom.
- All children in grades K-5 from the same family will be at the same school. Children from the same family will also be in the same house (a designated section of the building).
- Each house would have an administrator or administrative intern assigned to it so that smaller issues can be addressed within the house.
- Each building and house will include all students, including gifted and special education students, diverse students, students who receive free and reduced lunch and those with a variety of MAP scores.
- All-school assemblies will continue to occur and we will all remain Tigers.
Assignment to East or Freedom will be based on boundary lines. East Elementary School boundaries will include all of Waynesville city limits and the area above the St. Robert city limits, from Y Highway moving Westward (everything above Zeigenbein Circle and outside of the St. Robert city limits). Freedom Elementary School Boundaries will include all of St. Robert city limits, and the area from Y Highway moving Eastward (Zeigenbein Road and all adjoining roads that are in the city limits of St. Robert.) The boundaries are outlined on the map on the K-5 Realignment page (a link is at the top of the district’s main website.) Students will receive their house assignments in early August. Frequently asked questions are also located on the website, but if you have additional questions, please feel free to email the district at email@example.com.
“Like all changes, we will have some adjustments to make along the way, but this small-school focus will benefit our students in both the short term and long term,” Henry said.