Providing full-day kindergarten. Boosting gifted education. Selling portable classrooms.
The Lawrence school district’s movement of sixth-grade classes into middle schools this year has allowed elementary schools to stretch out, branch out and — at times — stop stressing out about their space needs.
“The kids actually get their playground back,” said Julie Donley, secretary at Hillcrest School, which bid farewell to one of its portables this summer thanks to the extra room inside. “It’s a lot more open. The kids don’t have to worry about running into each other.”
Here’s a rundown of how each school handled the departure of their sixth-grade classes, moves that opened up space in each building:
• Broken Arrow, 2704 La.: Two open rooms are filled with two additional kindergarten classes that formed this year, with the addition of full-day kindergarten. An additional first-grade class moved into a resource classroom, a program eliminated because federal stimulus funding no longer is available. “We’re utilizing every space in our building,” Principal Brian McCaffrey said.
• Cordley, 1837 Vt.: Two open rooms allowed for grade levels to relocate within the building and to accommodate an additional third-grade class this year. The other open room now is occupied for resource programs, which previously had found space in a former principal’s office on the second floor or a staircase that leads to nowhere.
• Deerfield, 101 Lawrence Ave.: Three open rooms are all spoken for, through rearranging to accommodate: a fourth third-grade class, plus special-education and gifted services. Relocating the programs opened other space for a sensory room and for a counselor to move out of a portable classroom, which has been sold.
• Hillcrest, 1045 Hilltop Drive: Two open rooms enabled relocations that ended with addition of a second-grade class and elimination of a two-room portable classroom.
• Kennedy, 1605 Davis Road: The school’s one open classroom is spoken for with the addition of two classes — one for kindergarten and one for fifth grade — and the loss of one class for fourth grade.
• Langston Hughes, 1101 George Williams Way: Three open classrooms led to a reorganization that accommodated the addition of a first-grade class and relocation of books, gifted education and a computer lab to larger spaces.
• New York, 936 N.Y.: One open classroom made room for an additional fifth-grade class. The school also gained a second-grade class, but lost a fourth-grade class. All 10 classrooms in the school are being used as classrooms.
• Pinckney, 810 W. Sixth St.: Two open rooms now are home to fifth-grade classes, with the former fifth-grade rooms going to two uses: Title 1 math and enrichment programs that met in a hallway last year now have their own room; the other room is occupied by the school’s autism consultant group, the school psychologist and a social worker.
• Prairie Park, 2711 Kensington Road: Two open rooms enabled a relocation to accommodate autism and special education programs in a room — instead of a conference room — and music therapy and special education in another.
• Quail Run, 1130 Inverness Drive: Three open classrooms allowed for the school’s autism cluster program to relocate, opening up space for an additional third-grade class. One room is now a sensory room, with treadmills and other equipment and materials for students who need them; another room is a meeting room that doubles as the central meeting space for the Boys and Girls Club program at the school.
• Schwegler, 2201 Ousdahl Road: The three open rooms are filled, as the school added a class in each of three grades: first, third and fifth.
• Sunflower, 2521 Inverness Drive: Three open rooms allowed the school to accommodate two additional kindergarten teachers, now that the school offers full-day kindergarten. The school also added a first-grade class and a third-grade class, meaning that an ESL classroom was split up and moved into two sites: a room in the library and a small office that had been used by a social worker, who retired.
• Sunset Hill, 901 Schwarz Road: Two open rooms made room inside for both fifth-grade classes, which had been sharing a two-room portable outside. The portable now is used for extended space art and as a special-education conference room and office space for the school psychologist.
• Woodlawn, 508 Elm St.: Two open rooms spurred a reorganization that made room for an additional fourth-grade class, and to move music classes into the building from a portable classroom outside.