Administrators, faculty and parents filled the Sunset cafeteria Thursday night to ask questions and voice concerns on the possibility of Altus elementary schools being converting to Grade Centers. This was the second meeting held on the subject. There were approximately 130 people in attendance.
Altus Schools’ Amanda Davis opened the meeting with Altus Public School Superintendent Roger Hill following. He thanked everyone for attending. Members of the Grade Center Committee also introduced themselves.
Hill said that the idea of grade centers was introduced to him by faculty within his first six months as Superintendent for Altus Schools. Since that time, committees have been formed and extensive research has been done. Hill said, “The State of Oklahoma education budget cuts play a huge role in our school districts present situation.” (see related story in today’s edition). Hill also highlighted the pros and cons of grade centers, as well as the challenges.
Parents raised concerns about transportation, classroom sizes, and special services. Both Superintendent Hill, and Assistant Superintendent Roe Worbes agreed that since day one, these topics are brought up the most. “We are working very hard on saving jobs, and saving programs,” said Hill.
With the change to grade centers there would be a total of 16 bus routes, and bus pre-enrollment would take place in May. Hill said that classroom sizes do not play into the decision to change to grade centers.”Two factors that contribute to classroom size include budget and teacher shortages,” he said. “Special services would not be affected,” he added.
Sunset School Principal Renee Long said, “There comes a time when we have to make a decision that is good for our city.” Director of Curriculum Cindy Allen mentioned the positive impact on the students, “It would allow our kids to receive additional learning from more teachers.”
The next Grade Center meetings will be both be held at 6 p.m., one on Jan. 13 at Roosevelt Elementary School, and the other at Will Rogers on Jan. 14.
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext. 2077