The Stillwater Public Schools Board of Education voted to approve new elementary school boundaries as well as an early release day for seven sites for the 2019-2020 school year during Tuesday night’s board meeting.
To address overcrowding, roughly 100 Richmond Elementary students will be moved to either Will Rogers or Skyline elementaries with 45-50 Sangre Ridge Elementary students will attend Westwood Elementary. The last major redistricting change in Stillwater happened in the 2013-14 school year.
Matt Parsel, SPS transportation director and chairman of the Elementary Attendance Zone Review Committee, said that while turnout to community meetings about the redistricting were low, most of the comments he heard were positive.
The topic that board members received much more public comments about the past few months was adopting an early release for the elementary sites and the middle so educators could have a designated time each week to meet and discuss academic improvement for all students.
Each Friday beginning next school year, elementary sites will dismiss students at 2 p.m. with the middle school day ending at 2:30 p.m. Dismissing 50 minutes early will allow teachers to meet with their Professional Learning Community teams , go over student data and look for indicators of what students need to learn next.
Teachers at the Stillwater High School, junior high and Lincoln Academy will continue meeting at their regular times. Cathy Walker, assistant superintendent of educational services, said that the district is adopting this because of the increased rigger on state tests. Board members Bob Graalman and Mitsi Andrews expressed concern before voting in favor of the early house release. Andrews said she is concerned about the loss of educational time.
Board President Camille DeYoung supports the idea and is excited to see how it goes.