Educational Plan Commendation 

MSBA Commendation

 Recently, the Massachusetts School Building Authority commended the Leicester Public School District for its Middle School/Elementary School Educational Plan. This plan is a comprehensive document that describes the current state of education in our existing buildings along with our proposals for a new Pre-K to 8 school. We are also pleased to announce that school districts across the state who are thinking about building new schools are using Leicester’s Education Plan as an exemplar for moving forward.


This post is a summary of each topic within the plan. If you would like to read the entire document, just click the following link.  Leicester Middle School/Elementary School Education Plan

 

Leicester Public School’s Education plan is a list of what we would like the proposed Middle/ School/Elementary School to be:

  1.  Overall Vision - One building with two independent schools each with its own identity, name, principal and teaching staff; shared common areas such as the gymnasium and cafeteria
  2. Grade and School Configuration – Grade level separation to manage transitions safely, while allowing for connection and collaboration when needed; focus on academic neighborhoods, serving grade levels and subject areas
  3. Class Sizes – Reasonable class sizes determined by grade level with exceptions for classes in certain subject areas, the need for specialized instruction, and availability of classroom space and equipment – target range from 20:1 in kindergarten and 25:1 in high school
  4. School Scheduling – Upper school with rotating schedule, heterogeneously mixed; lower school self-contained classrooms with grade four teacher or student movement; appropriate staff planning and collaboration time and space
  5. Teaching Methodology and Structure – Focus on student-centered, project-based learning with the teacher as coach or guide; engaging hands-on activities that foster inquiry, research, and investigation; classrooms built to house “works in progress” to promote observation, discussion, and collaboration
  6. Teacher Planning and Room Assignment  – Teacher workspaces for each grade level team, allowing teachers to interact, create, plan, collaborate, and complete their work; consideration given to the level of privacy required for specific tasks
  7. Pre-Kindergarten – At least three preschool classrooms including a program for students with more intensive needs; programming that allows time for students with special needs to interact with neurotypical peers
  8. Kindergarten – Non-tuition based, full-time kindergarten with large enough classrooms to set up a variety of learning centers; carpeting in one area for reading and instruction and flooring in another for snacks and “messy” projects; adjacent to restrooms
  9. Lunch Program and Student Dining – A “cafetorium” that is centrally located with a well-equipped kitchen and two serving sides designed for maximum production; a space that promotes all-day student use and community use after-hours; retractable stadium-style seating for performances, presentations, and student assemblies
  10. Technology Instruction, Programming, and Infrastructure – Rigorous, student-centered learning in a safe and technology-rich environment; anytime, anywhere learning based on competency and mastery; high quality, high-speed technology, and infrastructure systems
  11. Art Program – Well-equipped primary and specialized art classrooms - the hub of visual art instruction, close proximity to the media center, video production, and language instruction; satellite studios for the execution of painting, assembly, and graphic design required across the curriculum
  12. Music and Performing Arts Programs - Dedicated music spaces with music rooms; instrument areas, visuals, music technology, and movement spaces; a performance space (cafetorium) with appropriate acoustics and state-of-the-art curtain, lighting, sound, recording, and video equipment
  13. Physical Education Program – A gymnasium complex that is a multifunctional space large enough for both schools to use at once for classes and combined school assemblies; locker rooms attached to the larger space; community access for large events
  14. Outdoor Learning and Exterior Spaces – Two playgrounds, one for Prek to K and the other for grades one to four; hard surface with basketball hoops and other features for all types of ball play; playing fields including a dedicated Middle School field appropriate for interscholastic football, soccer, and field hockey contests; other practice spaces for the Middle School and a baseball/softball field for interscholastic contests; restrooms that can be accessed from outside the building
  15. Library/Media Center - A centrally located space that serves as both a teaching area and a resource center for teachers, staff and students; satellite media resources located in various academic neighborhoods; a space for project-based activities that require strong media and data content; expert specialists that lead, teach, and support the entire school
  16. Special Education Programs – Fully integrated academic teams; ample classroom space, small group rooms, inclusion rooms, and space for administration, testing, meetings, de-escalation, and adaptive PE/OT; specialized programs like the Living and Learning Center
  17. Transportation, Drop-Off, Building Entrances – Separate locations for school buses and parent drop-off/pickup; safe pathway for students who walk to school away from bus traffic; entrances linked to employee badges; adequate parking for staff and visitors including for night events and athletics, adequate lighting on the building and parking lot; separate entrances for the upper and lower schools
  18. Spatial Relationships and Key Adjacencies – A welcoming environment for students, staff, and the community at large; ease and accessibility of use by the community; a connection between indoor and outdoor spaces that supports educational goals; learning neighborhoods with general education classrooms and common spaces to facilitate project-based learning, teaming, STEM and special education; shared teacher workspaces in each neighborhood; flexible classrooms that allow for integration of key subjects
  19. Security and Access – Electronic monitoring of exterior doors, unlocked by a card-based control system or a push-button intercom system; inner set of doors in the main vestibule locked at all times except for drop-off and pickup times; panic buttons throughout the building; cameras placed on all entry doors into the building, interior hallways, and shared spaces; system monitored by LPD 

 A great deal of thought and many hours went into preparing the Leicester Middle School/Elementary School Education Plan, but it was necessary in order to decide what type of school would be best for the Town of Leicester. We hope you will continue to learn about this project and reach out to the School Department with all of your questions and concerns.

 


 


Posted by colbyl On 02 September, 2019 at 4:04 PM  

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