The following Open Letter was recently submitted to the Dear JCPS website.
Topic: District Boundaries
Addressed to: David Jones, Board Chair
Board Member: Steph Horne
School(s) Affected: Waggener, Myers Middle, The Academy @ Shawnee, Carrithers, Highland, Meyzeek, Newburg, Noe, Ramsey, Thomas Jefferson, Western, and Westport
Greetings Chair Jones,
At the May 12, 2014 JCPS Work Session regarding the Repurposing of Myers Middle School, you asked a very important question (around the 59:50 mark of this recording), and a subsequent commitment was made:
Jones: “Can you commit that we will track [the Myers students] as a cohort?”
Rodosky: “I will commit.”
Based on Mr. Rodosky’s commitment, and other representations and assurances made during the presentation, the board unanimously approved the following recommendations, among others:
- The incoming sixth-grade students assigned to Myers Middle School will be placed in one of ten middle schools (The Academy @ Shawnee, Carrithers, Highland, Meyzeek, Newburg, Noe, Ramsey, Thomas Jefferson, Western, and Westport). There are approximately 210 incoming sixth graders projected to attend Myers, so each of the 10 receiving schools would serve 40 or fewer students during the 2014-15 school year. Each of these students will be paired with a central office mentor who will provide support during this transition. (See the attached map for proposed boundary changes and the attached table that shows the number of students placed in each school. Sixth-grade students residing in The Academy @ Shawnee and Western Middle School areas of the map will be offered a choice between the two schools.)
- The current sixth- and seventh-grade students (rising seventh and eighth graders for the 2014-15 school year) will finish their middle school experience as students at Myers Middle School at Waggener High School. This arrangement will allow students to stay together for their middle school years and still participate in all middle school activities. Myers Middle School at Waggener will provide a cohesive, focused age-appropriate education that targets these students in an intentional way. It will challenge, intervene, and support the cognitive and non-cognitive skills of students.
- All impacted families will be able to apply for a transfer to another school for their student(s).
A year has passed, and I would like to know if Mr. Rodosky’s office is providing you with the data you requested? More specifically,
- What has happened to this “cohort” of 6th (and 7th and 8th) graders after they were assigned to these schools?
- Were any “exited” from their new school?
- Were the schools that had been “magnet only” (Western and Shawnee) given the resources and support needed to close the gap for those who do not meet the criteria?
- How well did schools that were tasked to absorb a higher percentage increase in Myers students fare? And those students?
- Is there aggregate data showing if the central office mentorship proved successful, as well as the frequency and types of interactions, etc.?
- How was the option to transfer to another school communicated to these families, and how many did this? Are there barriers, such as lack of internet access or difficulties using parent portal, that need to be overcome?
- Are there any adjustments that should be made to this model in the short term so that these students can continue to be successful in the long term?
Please let me know what information you are able to provide. Thank you for all that you do.
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