Starting in fall 2020 – the school year after next – DCS 6th graders will once again attend class on the jr./sr. high school campus. Duanesburg Superintendent Frank Macri, Elementary Principal Andrea Conover and High School Principal Jodi Marvin explained the future move in a May 16 letter home to parents, guardians and students:
“Over the past two years, we have been analyzing our curriculum as it relates to the change from Common Core to Next Generation Learning Standards. The goal for DCS is to identify any gaps in curriculum and provide the best education for our students. Through our evaluation, we noticed that the curriculum bands focused on grades 6-8 for middle-level learners. This led the district to investigate best practices for grade 6 students.
“Four years ago, the district moved 6th grade students from the secondary complex (jr./sr. high school) to the elementary school. After careful consideration, the district has decided to move the grade 6 classrooms back to the secondary campus beginning in the 2020-21 school year. This means that current 4th grade students would finish grade 5 next year (2019-20) in the elementary school and then start grade 6 at the secondary campus, as they had done prior to the move four years ago.
“We have scheduled a parent/guardian information night for Monday, June 3, at 6 p.m., to be held in the elementary cafeteria to go over the plan and share an informational presentation that was delivered at the May 7 Board of Education meeting. We encourage you to attend and look forward to addressing any questions or concerns you may have.
“Some of the positive outcomes from this move will be:
- Better alignment of curriculum and resources.
- Students will learn in a controlled environment at the secondary campus that will enable them to develop a full understanding of secondary expectations by the end of grade 7.
- Students will develop an earlier understanding of secondary concepts, such as numerical grading (instead of standards-based grades), study hall skills, transitions, etc., leading to better preparation for high school and beyond.
- Students will have time to develop social maturity as they slowly transition.
- Students will have opportunities to participate in clubs and activities such as student council (where they can hold class elections and begin fundraising for prom and senior year expenses a year sooner), FBLA, LGBTQ, dances,etc.
- Students will have a school counselor and social worker beginning in grade 6 to develop and create career plans. This supports the NYSED guidance plan.
- Students who need additional support will be able to stay after school with staff when all staff are in the building (2:45-3:20 p.m.).
- Students will benefit from age-appropriate assemblies such as: cultural awareness, bullying, vaping, and health skills. The content will have a grade 6-8, not K-6, focus.
“We look forward to seeing you on the 3rd and thank you for your continued support. Thank you.”