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Strategic Plan Updates

Update from December 9, 2019

On Monday, December 9, 2019, the Strategic Plan Committee presented the recommendations for the split of grade levels at the elementary schools to the board. The Strategic Plan Committee put in an enormous amount of work to gather feedback from our community and educators to help them arrive at recommendations that support quality teaching and learning along with an effective use of resources.

Who Makes Up the Strategic Plan Committee?

Teachers, parents, staff, and principals. The group was facilitated by Dr. Anita Manwell, a professor and dean of the School of Teachers at Indiana Wesleyan University and a member of the Madison-Grant Community.

What Factors were Considered in Making the Recommendations?

The committee looked first to fulfill the priorities of quality teaching and learning along with effective use of resources. Along with facility tours and educational/classroom data, they also looked at the results and feedback from both parent and teacher surveys. One common thread of feedback is how important it is to keep our small classroom size, and the reconfiguration allows us to do this for every grade! The feedback was invaluable, and we thank you for your time in filling out these surveys to help us provide the best options in education for our students. Below are some major factors in the decision-making keeping the top priorities of quality teaching and learning along with effective use of resources in mind:

  • Additional resources at Park allows for a new STEM lab and robotics room to support upper-level elementary programs.
  • Keeping the 3rd graders with the other testing grades allows for the highest level of collaboration for maximum learning and performance.
  • Summitville has attained certifications needed to support a high-quality pre-K which are not transferable to another site. We want to support this excellence already in place and allow it to flourish at this site.

While these are only a few of the reasons for the decisions made, they highlight the decision-making process and thoughts brought forth by educators and parents alike. Thank you for your input and feedback during this important step of the process.

What is the Recommendation?

After Monday’s presentation, the school board approved the following recommendation set to begin for 2020–2021 school year:

  • Pre-K through 2nd at Summitville Elementary led by Mrs. Samuels as principal.
  • 3rd grade through 6th grade at Park Elementary led by Mrs. DeWitt as principal.

UPdate Letter to Parents

October 16, 2019 - Letter to Parents

We have entered our first phase of development for our strategic plan and wanted to make sure you know what is happening. We have put together a team of educators from Madison-Grant to participate in the Strategic Plan Committee. We will also be including members of the parent community to be part of the committee. Dr. Anita Manwell, a professor and dean of the School of Teachers at Indiana Wesleyan University, is committed to act as facilitator for this group. Dr. Manwell is a member of the Madison-Grant community and her expertise as both an educator and parent will help the group work effectively to make recommendations. 

We are also creating separate committees to address other operational issues like transportation and safety and team placement. Each committee will prepare plans and recommendations for board approval for how we will execute the reconfiguration of grades at Madison-Grant United School Corporation.

We need your help! We need input from all our parents. We know each family has specific needs and challenges. Our committees will work to find solutions while aligning this with the best education we can offer our students. We will be sending out multiple surveys to gauge your input on the distribution of grades, thoughts on challenges, transportation questions, as well as finding out your thoughts as other items may come into play with the new grade distribution. 

We will be emailing out a survey to parents and need responses as soon as possible to be able to help inform our committees. It is so important we receive a wide response to make good decisions for our families. Thank you for your continued partnership, we look forward to hearing from you.

What does "Reconfiguration" mean in this proposal?

Both elementary schools will remain open! We propose one building focus as our early childhood education center for grades pre-k through 2nd grade or 3rd grade. The other elementary school will house grades 3rd or 4th through 6th grade.

Will one elementary school have fewer students?

We are not reconfiguring either building to have fewer students. Instead, we want to house all 70 to 85 students in each grade level together, under one roof, to create a vibrant educational environment for each level. This will allow us to grow our programming, especially the pre-k, to meet the needs and interests of our early childhood and elementary friends.

Why is it important to make these changes?

Our teachers can be more effective. Your students will have access to the collective expertise of multiple teachers specialized in meeting the developmental needs of students at their grade level. Putting each grade level together under one roof means our teachers can partner with ALL the teachers in their grade level, providing the best possible experience for your student. We can then begin partnering in classrooms in interesting ways to bring students together and create a cohort or learning community as they move through grades. Inside every Goblin and Eagle is an Argyll!

How will this affect special education?

With this reconfiguration, our Special Education programming will be able to focus on the needs of three or four grade levels instead of all seven grade levels. This will encourage even more specialized services for more targeted and impactful instruction.

What does this mean for activities?

We heard your feedback. The joining of grade levels at each building provides greater access to athletics and fine arts activities at the jr./sr. high. Many of these activities are accessible to 6th graders, with some accessible to 5th graders. By having all of our 5th and 6th grade students in one building, we will be able to provide consistent transportation to all of the athletics and fine arts activities at the jr./sr. high school.

What are the next steps?

We will need your input! More details are in the works with our other committees, including transportation and staffing. We know every family will have individual thoughts and needs, so we will be reaching out again this winter for your feedback so we can ensure your input and meet everyone’s needs safely and effectively. Please keep an eye on your email for opportunities to share your thoughts and give feedback.