Questions and Answers on the Topic of Elementary School Transition
Q: I would urge the transportation process to be completed in advance so that families can plan for before and after care in advance.
A: No decisions have been made regarding the Audubon Elementary School building.
Q: Will families “not” transitioning be included in transition communications so we understand the plan, service offerings, and any changes?
A: All communications that are related to transition planning will be posted on the district’s website so that all Methacton constituents may be informed. Some communications regarding events and activities may be targeted specifically to certain families.
Q: Will there be events to help introduce transitioning student to their new school and classmates?
Q: How will students be notified of activities they may want to participate in at their new school and new year (example: my daughter was given information to sign up for violin rentals before the end of the previous school year.).
A: The district will utilize the website, SchoolMessenger, and social media to communicate with families and ensure that necessary information is conveyed in a way that is accessible to new families who have not yet transitioned to their new school community. The home and school associations will also play a key role in communicating information about activities.
Q: Will an effort be made to ensure several transitioning students are included in the same class to help ease the pain of transitioning (familiar faces in class)?
A: Once the boundaries are finalized, district administration can begin the process of programming for the remaining buildings. This suggestion has been shared and will be taken into consideration.
Q: Will the current staff be relocated so that student to staff ratio is maintained?
A: Once the boundaries are finalized, district administration can begin the process of programming for the remaining buildings. This process will include the staffing of the remaining schools. While the exact ratio may vary, families should refer to Board Policy 126: Class Size, that establishes guidelines for planning.
Q: What PDE and Board Policies will be used to make such decisions?
A: Decisions related to ratio of student to teacher for regular education classes and other programs will be guided by Board Policy 126: Class Size which will comply with Pennsylvania Department of Education regulations.
Q: Any plans to address the increased student populations in other areas besides classrooms, like the cafeteria, hallways?
A: Yes, this will be considered in planning.
Q: Will I need to create a new account on school communication applications such as Konstella, Remind, or any other apps that provide information of my son’s schooling?
A: Any communications systems that are administered by the school district will be updated automatically. This includes the Community Web Portal and School Messenger. Students will be transitioned to their new school once boundaries are finalized. Procedures for updating contact information in other tools utilized by H&S associations, or individual classroom teachers, will be communicated by those organizations.
Q: I am the parent of an Audubon student who will be potentially be transitioning to Arrowhead. As part of the transition from one run down school to another, I as well as the other parents need to understand the board’s plan and timing for closing the gaps at Arrowhead prior to the beginning of the next school year. How are the safety issues that are outstanding going to be addressed and what is the timing?
From my understanding Arrowhead classrooms do not have doors. While the school may be grandfathered, is the administration comfortable that in the event of an emergency situation such as an active shooter that those teachers and students do not have a safe place to shelter in place? What is the emergency response plan?
A: Emergency response procedures are developed for each building individually, taking matters such as building layout into consideration. The district’s Emergency Response Plan, response protocols, and procedures for all of our schools are carefully developed utilizing best practice and direction from officials with the Montgomery County School Emergency Planning office, State Emergency Response planning guidelines, and local law enforcement.
Given the decision to close Audubon, the district will be revisiting the list of proposed projects to now consider Arrowhead.
Q: If a child is in title I math in Eagleville and they are getting transferred to Worcester, how would that child get title I math since Worcester Elementary does not offer title I math?
A: A determination is made each July to identify which if any Methacton schools will be eligible to offer Title I services. The district will follow regular procedures again this year with the newly approved boundaries. While students are also eligible deemed eligible for services on an annual basis, resources will be made available to any student in need of support.
Q: How does Arrowhead handle a lockdown situation without
having doors on the classrooms?
A: Emergency response procedures are developed for each building individually, taking matters such as building layout into consideration. The district’s Emergency Response Plan, response protocols and procedures for all of our schools are carefully developed utilizing best practice and direction from officials with the Montgomery County School Emergency Planning office, State Emergency Response planning guidelines, and local law enforcement.
No decisions have been made relative to any personnel assignments at this time. Once the revised sending area boundaries are approved the by the Board of School Directors, programming for the remaining four schools will begin. Most staffing decisions will be made during the months of March, April, and May.
Q: Which administrators will be at each of the meetings? Obviously Dr. Zerbe can’t be at all of the meetings, but from the parent perspective, it might be most appreciated to see him to be at the schools which will experience the most dramatic shifts.
A: Building principals will open the elementary transition meetings. Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Dr. Mary Katona; and Director of Pupil Services, Dr. Susan Angstadt, will deliver a presentation intended to begin the sharing of information on the transition process. They will also convey a process for families to submit questions throughout the transition, and give feedback on the proposed sending area boundaries. This is the starting point to provide an overview and gather feedback. More meetings will take place in the coming months, and future meetings will be attended by Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe, district administrators, and faculty as the transition continues.
Q: If a parent has a boundary concern, am I correct that they should still go to the school where they are currently assigned and not to the school where they would like to be assigned?
Q: What is the
exact number of 1st graders in next year’s classes?
A: Once the boundaries are approved, programming will begin
for the remaining four elementary schools. In addition, first grade enrollment
will be conducted by the district beginning on April 1 for those families whose
children did not attend Methacton kindergarten programs.
A more exact number will not be known until this process is complete, but in the interim, families should refer to Board Policy 126:Class Size, that establishes guidelines for planning.