Fact Sheet: Balsz School Board Approves Change of Balsz Elementary to Middle School
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In a 5-0 vote on December 5, the Balsz School District Governing Board approved a measure to transform Balsz Elementary School into a dedicated middle school serving grades 6-8.
The district does not currently have a dedicated middle school. The change will take place over the coming months and become effective at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. This change will mean that all Balsz students will attend the middle school moving forward, and K-5 students currently at Balsz Elementary School will be reassigned to other district schools.
Additionally, the change opens the door for some significant improvements in the curriculum offered to the students in the new middle school. The overall goal will be to make the new school the destination middle school for serious student athletes, future leaders, computer whiz kids and serious college-bound academics. Its programs will be designed to expose our students to revolutionary academies that foster efficacy, engagement and a love for learning.
There were several significant reasons why this change was made.
First, enrollment in the Balsz School District has declined, and a significant chunk of that decline can be attributed to students moving to a dedicated middle school environment outside of the district. When we lose students, we lose revenue that we need to ensure a quality education for all Balsz students.
Additionally, as educators, we believe it is beneficial to provide an opportunity for parents in our community to keep their children in the district and benefit from a middle school experience. A dedicated middle school allows students to better prepare for high school, as well as enjoy additional choices in courses, electives and after-school programs.
The change will also help us recruit and retain quality teachers who are seeking the opportunity to teach on a middle school schedule. It may also help us eliminate the need for several teaching positions we struggle to fill each year because teacher recruitment is one of our district’s greatest challenges.
And, the change will allow the district to streamline its operations and better distribute the student population, helping the district save valuable resources that can be redirected into the classroom.
Finally, there’s an incredible opportunity to create new educational programming for our students that will help them succeed in school and life. By developing a school program that appeals and attracts students to become lifelong learners in the classroom, on the field of competition and in life, we can set ourselves apart from the common middle school.
Our focus is to build a school that takes advantage of the current climate and builds structures to address the needs of today’s students.
We would like to thank our parents, teachers and staff for their input on the change.
Our focus will now turn to implementing the change in time for the start of the 2018-19 school year, while minimizing any negative impacts on families, students, teachers or staff.
If you have any questions on the changes at Balsz Elementary to convert it to a fully dedicated middle school, contact Alexis Wilson, Assistant Superintendent, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602.629.6400. For updates, visit our website at balsz.org.