Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the recommendation to place the new elementary school for the combined East/Moody community on the Moody campus
Thank you to those of you who participated in the Long Range Planning Committee’s February 2 Virtual Town Hall regarding the recommendation to combine East Elementary and Ralph Moody Elementary communities in a new school to be built on the Ralph Moody campus. We appreciate your time, your feedback and your questions. Nearly 100 questions were submitted before and during the townhall; therefore, not all of the questions could be addressed during the townhall. More information is provided below.
When the two school communities merge into one, there will be a loss of identity for each school. How will that loss be addressed and how will the communities be guided forward in creating a new school identity?
The Ralph Moody and East principals will partner and lead their current school communities in beginning the process to form a new school community. The principal of the new school will play a major role in creating a new school identity. He or she will work with both school communities to come up with a name for the school, select school colors and have input on the design of the school logo and mascot. Additionally, PTO leaders from both schools are already planning together, looking for ways for the communities to get to know each other and how to successfully combine to form one school community. Joint events will be held in the coming months. For example, the schools hope to take staff and parents on a “field trip” to the new Dr. Justina Ford Elementary School to see the prototype design and generate ideas for wants and needs for the new school.
What concerns around proximity, accessibility, equity, and social support have been acknowledged and how will LPS address them? How will LPS promote immigrant parent involvement in the new school community?
It is our highest priority to involve all stakeholders, parents, staff, and students in forming a new school community. It is in everyone’s best interests to preserve and build upon the strong parent participation and support at both East and Ralph Moody.
Both schools are joyful places where students are cared for and loved by parents and staff members. Parents will be invited as partners to brainstorm ways beyond traditional structures such as PTO, accountability committees, etc. to share ideas, needs, hopes, and a vision moving forward. It is important that all voices and perspectives be shared, heard, and understood.
The school principal and district leadership will provide outreach opportunities to build, cultivate, and sustain relationships. Support services, such as a parent liaison position, interpretation and translation will continue. There will be many parent leadership opportunities as this work moves forward. We value the input, partnership and leadership of all families within our community.
The foundations for these conversations are already forming, as school and district leaders have been meeting with representatives of North Littleton Promise and families to identify and address issues of specific concern to the East community.
If one of the benefits of selecting the Ralph Moody campus for the new school is that construction can be completed while still educating students, why is relocating the students to Twain for a year during construction being discussed?
While it’s true that another building could be built on-site while students are being educated at the current Ralph Moody, our goal is to build a school that will serve students and the LPS community well for the next 75 years. It’s important to give the architect and design team access to the entire site; doing so will ensure optimal placement for the building, playground, playing fields, parking, and bus loop.
If students are relocated temporarily during construction, will families be offered bus transportation?
Yes, transportation will be provided.
If Ralph Moody students move to Twain for a year, will there still be School Age Child Care (SACC)?
Yes, SACC would be available at Twain for Ralph Moody families during the “relocation year.”
What input will parents from East and Ralph Moody have on the design of the building if the same design as Dr. Justina Ford Elementary School is being used?
There will be a design advisory group (DAG) for the new building. Just as the new Dr. Justina Ford Elementary community DAG had input, so will the East and Ralph Moody DAG on many of the features inside the building that are not dependent upon the “bones” of the structure (walls, ducting, plumbing, electrical, etc.).
Can LPS provide busing for children of East families who may not have transportation to make it easier for them to participate in after-school activities at the new school?
The LPS Transportation department is developing options to possibly provide a “late” bus route for students who participate in after-school activities, provided there are enough riders to make a late bus route feasible.
Why are elementary schools doubling (or more than doubling) in size?
An elementary school with three or four classes at every grade level, known as a three- or four-round, is optimal for providing the best learning opportunities for students. This size of elementary school is ideal under the current school funding mechanism because larger schools allow for funding for robust staffing, including small group instruction, intervention, and other support services; office staff including a principal and an assistant principal or dean; full-time specials teachers; and other staffing to meet the unique needs of the school community--all of which provide students with the people and programs to best support them.
Where will the staff members for the new school come from?
There will be a process for staffing the new school that will include staff from both East and Ralph Moody. The LPS Human Resources department will guide the staff members of East and Ralph Moody through this process at the appropriate time.
When will the preschool at Ralph Moody close?
If the Board of Education decides that the new school should be built on the Ralph Moody campus, and if Ralph Moody students are relocated to another school during the 2022–2023 school year to allow for construction without students on site, the 2021–2022 school year would be the last year for the Ralph Moody preschool.
What kinds of communication to parents will there be about preschools moving and/or closing?
The Long-Range Planning Committee will hold a town hall regarding the recommendation to consolidate The Village Early Childhood Education programs at Highland. A date for this event has not yet been set. Parents and staff members will receive an invitation to the town hall once details have been finalized.
Why is the district planning to consolidate all early childhood education (ECE) to one building, The Village at Highland, when there are self-funded, site-based preschools that families love?
Administrations’ recommendation is to consolidate The Village Early Childhood Education programs, which are currently located at North and Highland, to one location: The Village at Highland. Bond dollars will convert Highland to an early childhood education center. There will be specially designed classrooms, learning spaces, and outdoor areas for preschool age students.
The Village programs are designed to meet the needs of all LPS preschool students. Site-based preschools are not staffed to identify and support the needs of students with disabilities. There are specifically licensed and trained staff at our Village programs who can provide specialized programming and interventions to meet the needs of students. Identifying learning, social-emotional, and developmental needs in our preschool-age students and providing early intervention is critical to student success.
Very few LPS elementary schools have preschools. Site-based preschools are self funded. Tuition must cover all expenses of the program. There must be space in the building to support a site-based preschool. The school designs for the three new elementary schools do not include space for preschool. These new schools do not have the classroom space or the playground space to support preschool programs. The current 2020–2021 school year is the last year of the Hopkins preschool, as space is needed for K–5 students. Wilder has one preschool classroom.
Will transportation be provided to a central ECE facility?
Transportation is currently provided to The Village sites at Highland and North for preschool students who qualify for an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This transportation would continue. We anticipate conversations with parents about other transportation possibilities, as well, should the decision be to have one ECE at The Village at Highland.