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District 2 releases survey on grade-level centers

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 5:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 10:36 p.m. CDT

RICHMOND – Some school districts like District 2 send their students to schools based on where they live. Others have all the students in a particular grade attend the same school regardless of where they live.

District 2 is looking for parent, resident and staff feedback on the idea of switching to the second model, establishing what are called grade-level centers for its two elementary schools.

A survey will be available on the district’s website, www.nippersinkdistrict2.org, until Dec. 20.

The survey will be used by a steering committee and its subcommittees, which are charged with looking into existing research, assessing the feasibility in terms of cost, transportation and instructional programs and identifying possible issues, Superintendent Dan Oest said.

The committees are made up of parents, staff, school board members and administrators.

They were created after the idea of grade-level centers surfaced during a discussion of board goals in 2012.

The steering committee’s meetings are not open to the public because they are administrative committees as opposed to school board committees, which would be subject to the Open Meetings Act, Oest said.

The steering committee does, however, submit quarterly reports to the school board and will present its findings to the board as early as next fall. The board will then decide whether to move forward with the idea.

“We do want to be certain that people know this is not a done deal,” Oest said. “It’s an exploration.”

Oest declined to comment on what triggered the idea, saying he couldn’t speak for the board but added the board wanted to know whether grade-level centers were a better structure for the district, and if it made sense for the district to move in that direction.

School board President Bert Irslinger did not return a call for comment Wednesday or Thursday.

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