The updated FAQs for the Regional School District #17’s Restructuring Plan, which includes the closing of Haddam Elementary School, put out by the Board of Education, can be found HERE. The FAQs were updated on Dec. 21, 2018. They are also listed below for your convenience.
District Restructuring FAQ Update
What will the Intermediate School program look like? Students will spend most of their core instructional time with one teacher and will switch together as a class for some subjects with other teachers. Students will work with 2-3 teachers in core academic subjects. Instructional time will be similar to the minutes existing currently in 4th grade, which will increase core instructional time in 5th grade. This is very similar to the current 4th grade structure. Students will experience an enhanced art and music program throughout the year and physical education weekly. Students will also have classes in technology applications, computer coding, research, and design-build. Comprehensive health education, including social-emotional well-being, will also be part of the specials program. Foreign Language (Spanish or French) is part of the program as of 5th grade. There will be a personalized learning block each day where students will participate in instruction or activities to match their needs and interests. In addition to small-group instruction, students will be able to access self-directed enrichment opportunities related to their interests. Recess will be 25 minutes daily, the amount of time that currently exists in the elementary schools. Based on a survey of students the recess field will be available for sports games such as soccer, kickball, and whiffle-ball. Recreational games such as four square, hopscotch, and beanbag toss can be played on the adjacent black-top. Students can also enjoy basketball and jump rope. Based upon student interest, plans are underway to have swings, a climbing structure, and a ga-ga ball pit. The extracurricular program will include a robust offering, based on student surveys, of clubs including but not limited to running, cooking, crafting, robotics, maker-space, drama, student council, science, and book clubs.
Will class sizes change from what they have been for grades four and five due to the restructuring? Class sizes will not exceed the maximum class sizes that have existed in Region 17 over the past ten years. This has typically been a maximum of 20 students in grades K-3 and 22 students in grades 4-5.
Can all Intermediate and Middle School students fit in the current middle school facility? Yes, the middle school has a capacity of 880 students. The projected 2019-20 enrollment for the Intermediate School (grades 4-5) is 259 and 491 for the middle school (grades 6-8) for a total of 750 students. Projected enrollment for 2020-21 is 257 in grades 4-5 and 455 in 6-8 for a total of 712. The total projected enrollment for 2021-22 is 690 with 270 in grades 4-5 and 420 in grades 6-8.
Where will fourth and fifth grade classrooms be located? The Middle School has four wings and eight instructional pods. Core classrooms for the Intermediate School will be located within pod areas that will be designated for 4th and 5th grade. The specific location of classrooms is being finalized in December and will be communicated to the public in January. There will be opportunities for students and parents to tour the facility.
Will there be an orientation program for students who will enter the Intermediate School next year? Yes, during the winter months the Intermediate School Planning Committee will be crafting orientation and visitation activities. Activities will take place throughout the spring, summer, and up until the start of school. Future updates and district communications will provide details.
Will the K-3 Program change at all? If so, how? The Primary Program will not change in any large manner. The Primary Program Committee will be taking the opportunity during this restructuring process to review the program and make any adjustments that make sense for this age group of learners.
Will students and families from HES and BES have opportunities to meet one another before next year? Yes, the Primary Program Committee will be planning merger activities to take place throughout the spring that will be for faculty, staff, students and parents. Stay tuned for future updates on details.
Can the BES building fit all K-3 students from Haddam? Yes, BES has 28 classrooms, 22 can be grade level classrooms and 6 are other classrooms for specials (Art/Music/Computer Lab) and instructional support (Special Education and Instructional Intervention). Maintaining historical class sizes, BES has the capacity for approximately 440 students. The enrollment at BES (with HES and BES K-3 merged) for 2019-20 is 300 students. The projected number of grade level classrooms needed for 2019-20 is 16.
Will the Middle School (6-8) Program change at all? If so, how? The Middle School Program will not change in any significant manner as a result of this restructuring.