Tom Munds Superintendent Sean McDaniel gave Englewood School Board members a lot to think about as he presented a proposal to reinvent the district. …
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Superintendent Sean McDaniel gave Englewood School Board members
a lot to think about as he presented a proposal to reinvent the
The major elements of the proposal, which require school board
approval and would be implemented at the start of the 2009-10
school year, include:
Educating all elementary school students in four buildings,
Bishop, Clayton, Cherrelyn and Charles Hay.
Moving early childhood education from the Lowell Building to
Maddox Elementary School
Creating a kindergarten through eighth-grade international
baccalaureate program at Hay Elementary School.
Closing or leasing out the Lowell Building
Creating an Englewood Freshman Academy for incoming
Allowing eighth-graders the choice of the freshman academy or
attending Colorado’s Finest Alternative High School.
McDaniel presented the proposal at the Dec. 16 school board
meeting as information for the school board to review and evaluate.
Then, in January, the plan is to provide additional detailed
information on the proposal to the board, to have two or more
public forums about the issue to gather additional information and
to make a decision about the plan before the end of January.
In introducing the proposal, he said it took 12 to 14 weeks of
hard, dedicated effort from a host of people to develop the plan,
made necessary because no one wants to maintain the status quo —
the results are not satisfactory.
“We know we can’t keep doing what we are doing. If we do, we’ll
get the same results we are getting now,” the superintendent said.
“So, we need to look fort a different, better way of doing things
with the ultimate goal of improving the quality education we
provide for all our students.”
He first addressed the proposal to teach kindergarten through
fifth-graders in four elementary school building so the early
childhood education program can be moved from the Lowell Annex
bulding to the Maddox Elementary School.
McDaniel said the Lowell Building is old. It very costly and
difficult to heat and cool and the building is in need of about $2
million in upgrades and repairs. So, moving ECE would provide the
program a better facility and reduce district utility costs.
“The reason Maddox is suggested is because of the building’s
central location,” he said. “That would leave us with four
elementary schools, one in each quadrant of the city to continue
the tradition of neighborhood schools.”
Heather Hunt, school board president, asked it moving ECE to
Maddox would provide the room to expand the program and eliminate
the waiting list.
Gail Neubert, director so student services, said there would be
more room at Maddox. She said currently there are about 200
children in ECE with a waiting list of 25 to 40 out-of-district
families. That could be eliminated because there are 20 classrooms
at Maddox and the student capacity is 356.
Board Member Shelly Thompson asked how the proposal to having
elementary education in four buildings would improve student
“We feel this will provide the opportunity to get larger groups
of grade-level teachers together so they can work together on
proven instructional models and curriculum content,” McDaniel
answered. “Those measures should help develop stronger, consistent
academic programs that would have a positive impact on student
He said work continues on details of the proposal, including
exact personnel decisions and just how all the changes would take
He said more details would be made available as decisions are
made. He also said he wanted to work with the school board members
to set up sites, times and dates for the public forums to keep the
people informed about the proposal.
“I stress this is an important matter when we consider we have
an aging building costing us a lot of money in utility costs and
five elementary schools with each at about 58 percent of student
capacity. So, I feel we have to get rolling on this,” the
superintendent said. “I also want to point out it is not a quick
fix but a long-term program. But it also is flexible enough that,
if district circumstances such as enrollment increases. I feel it
is a thoughtful proposal and I hope we can refine it and put it
into action soon.”
Plan proposes using four buildings as elementary schools.
Maddox would house early childhood education program
Public forums planned in January on proposal.
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