Stop Barberton City Schools from combining the two elementary schools in 2022

Stop Barberton City Schools from combining the two elementary schools in 2022

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Amber Miller started this petition to Mr. Ramnytz

Below is the plan copy and pasted directly from the Barberton City Schools Facebook post on July 8, 2021. If you disagree with this plan please sign this petition. 


From Mr. Ramnytz:

We live in 9 square miles, and the important sections of our City (West side, East, South, and North) all have rich history. It’s important to always remember, though, that when it comes to important occasions in our community (think of athletic events) that we all come together. We all bleed purple, and we all are all Magics!

Did you know that at one point there were nine elementary neighborhood schools, three junior high schools, and one high school?

We are now down to two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Recently we have created our high performing (and desperately needed) Barberton Preschool that serves nearly 200 students and families every year (with a lengthy waiting list that reminds us to pursue expanding it!).

Over time, the needs of our community have shifted and we have aligned our school district to accommodate those needs.

One of the goals that I stated to the Board of Education when I interviewed for my position a few years ago was to build a more consistent, high performing culture throughout the district by strengthening us from Pre-K through 12th grade.

Experience has proven that human beings function at a high level when there is consistency. I’m an old football coach (offensive line). If I wanted my linemen to step right, I had them practice stepping right 1,000 times!

With academics, students and young developing minds grow and function better when there is repetition, patterns they can follow, consistency, and structure.

Over the last four years our district has worked hard to develop instructional maps and common assessments that begin to bring together the consistency that will strengthen our academic focus. We initially focused on grades 5-12. Our next step is to take what we’ve built in grades 5-12 district-wide.

An example for how to do that is to bring together all grade level teachers under one roof so that they can collaborate together with their peers who are working through the same challenges - it’s how we ensure every student is as successful as they can possibly be!

Currently in grades 5-12, grade level and subject level teachers are under one roof and collaborate. They talk in real-time about what students need and how they’re performing, build common instruction, and discuss testing and how we can improve. Under these circumstances, we are able to have more consistency from classroom to classroom, grade level to grade level, and subject area to subject area. This helps our students!

Under our current model with two separate elementary buildings, Kindergarten through 4th grade are divided. In those two buildings (East and West), we have a total of eight first grade classes. Four first grade classes at East and four first grade classes at West. As good a job as they are doing, there is little opportunity for these teachers to work collaboratively, build consistency, and strengthen our academics for each student.

Our district motto is to “meet each student where they are and grow them from year to year until they are successfully on a pathway to be Enrolled (in college), Enlisted (in the military) or Employed (in a good job). The key word is “grow!” Every year.... from PreK through their senior year.

To do that effectively we need to bring all of our grade levels together.

If students are taught the same instructional material from classroom to classroom there still may be gaps of mastery. But we will know what needs to be done in the next grade level to catch students up or move them to the next level. This is extremely important and very helpful for the students, to keep them all moving through our district together.

So, what needs to happen?

We are building a plan to make the best use of the elementary buildings so that Kindergarten through 2nd grade are in one building (West Elementary). That building can then be entirely focused on early childhood education and the specific supports our youngest students need to be successful.

Then we will have 3rd grade through 5th grade at East Elementary, with all the support needed for an intermediate educational experience.

These students are at completely different levels of development and require a more focused concentration.

The result of this shift is that the 5th grade will come out of the middle school. Fifth graders will have one more year to develop academically, socially, and emotionally before going to middle school.

This shift will also allow our grade level teachers at every level in the district to be together - more focused, building consistency, collaborating, discussing the needs of every student.

The ride to drop off students may be a few more minutes because of this shift in how our buildings are being used, but I’m confident that everyone in our community will do whatever it takes for our students to be successful! No one loves change. But if it’s to the benefit of our students and teachers, and it will strengthen the academics we deliver, it will be well worth the few extra miles some may have to travel.

This is a small price to pay for all the good this change will do!

Currently we are looking closely at our numbers, getting a facility study completed, and making sure we can bus students from Pre-K through 12th grade.

The goal is to start this beginning in August of 2022 - next school year). The first academic year with this building alignment would be the 2022-2023 school year. We have next year to gather data and provide opportunities to have discussions with the community. Once the plan is finalized, we can work to prepare our staff and students for the move.

No matter what side of town you are from, never forget that we are all Magics! This move will strengthen our connection.

As we begin this planning process, we will soon announce some events where we will share what we’ve learned so far and ask your thoughts. Stay tuned!"

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