Elementary, middle and high school options

The Kuna school district’s design solution team presented a few options for organizing the schools to the board of trustees Tuesday, Oct. 10.

ALX STEVENS/KUNA MELBA NEWS

KUNA — Changes are coming to the school district next year.

The Kuna school district will move students, shift staff and reorganize individual schools as Teed Elementary School becomes Teed Middle School, and sixth-grade students move into the two middle schools.

School district representatives presented transition recommendations to the board of trustees Tuesday, Oct. 10.

They recommended Hubbard and Indian Creek elementary schools continue to have kindergarten through third-grade students, Ross Elementary School continue to have fourth- and fifth-grade students, and Crimson Point, Reed and Silver Trail elementary schools have kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

The representatives also recommended that as Teed Elementary School becomes Teed Middle School, boundaries determine whether a middle school student goes to Teed Middle School or Kuna Middle School.

As for high school students, there are still a few years to go before the new high school is built, however, a team is already making plans on how to best utilize the old and the new high schools. The design team also presented a recommendation on how to organize students between the two high schools (the new one is supposed to open in 2020).

To create these recommendations the district created a “design solution team” — composed of parents, administrators, teachers, students and others — that would present transition options to the school board. Trustee Carl Ericson confirmed at the meeting that design meant school organization.

The school board will ultimately decide how the changes occur.

Here is what was presented to the school board:

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Nicole Crow, a teacher at Hubbard Elementary School, presented the team’s recommendation for elementary education.

Hubbard and Indian Creek elementary schools will have kindergarten through third-grade students.

After finishing third grade, students from Hubbard and Indian Creek elementary schools will take fourth- and fifth-grade classes at Ross Elementary School. That school will have just fourth- and fifth-grade students.

Crimson Point, Reed and Silver Trail elementary schools will have kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

Sixth-grade students will move out of Crimson Point, Reed and Silver Trail elementary schools into Kuna and Teed middle schools.

“We feel like with what we have right now,” Crow said, “this will work best for our district.”

Another option presented at the meeting included having all schools be kindergarten through fifth-grade schools. Superintendent Wendy Johnson said that while survey results showed this was the preferred option for the district, Johnson said it just wasn’t financially possible at this time.

Crow said this was because utilities like toilets and water fountains would have to be adjusted to be compliant with requirements for higher grade levels. Playgrounds would also have to be changed.

“We didn’t think it was practical and fiscally responsible,” Crow said. “There’s so many costs we just don’t know right now until we really dig into it.”

However, Johnson said, having all elementary schools have kindergarten through fifth-grade students is a long-term goal.

2 MIDDLE SCHOOLS WILL HAVE SIXTH- THROUGH EIGHTH-GRADE STUDENTS

With Teed Elementary School becoming Teed Middle School, some parents are asking: will that school be the same as Kuna Middle School?

Linda Wiedenfeld, an instructional coach at Kuna Middle School, addressed that question at the board meeting.

Based on survey results, people want the schools to be exactly the same in academics and activities, rather than have two unique middle schools with different programs (which was another option).

Wiedenfeld said the schools will try to be as close to the same as possible, but there may be some differences. This is because the schools are different in size and internal layout.

“That makes sense,” board chairman Carl Ericson said. “I mean unless you have two exact (same) schools, like floor plan and everything, you are going to have those differences.”

All the core classes, such as math and English, will be the same, meaning at least one of each will be offered at each middle school, Wiedenfeld said. The differences will likely come down to some programs, such as the Synergy team. Depending on how many students are enrolled in those programs, Wiedenfeld said, there may not be enough students to have a program at each school.

Athletic teams are to-be-determined.

Students likely will be assigned to a school based on newly zoned district boundaries, which are in progress.

“The zoning committee will have their hands full,” Wiedenfeld said, “figuring how that’s going to work.”

A CAREER TECHNICAL SCHOOL AND A TRADITIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

The design solution team concluded their presentation to the board with an update on tentative plans for the new high school.

The new high school will be small, at first, holding around 500 students, said Christy Mauk, who teaches English at Kuna High School. Both high schools will have required core classes. However, the new high school will have some new and different career technical classes offered.

This, Mauk said, is to have two high schools, rather than a traditional high school and a school strictly focused on Career Technical Education, such as agriculture classes.

Students in ninth through 12th grades can either attend each school for half the day, Mauk said, or they can take all their classes at either school. Busing will be available for students attending both schools throughout the day.

More information on all of these potential changes will be released as plans continue to develop, according to district spokesman David Reinhart. The board will either approve or deny these changes at its December meeting.

Alx Stevens is the reporter for Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 208-922-3008 or editor@kunamelba.com.

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