As we continue to grow this school year, we are excited about the opportunity to add classroom space for our students in the near future. On January 10th, our Board of Education will vote on approving Modular Classrooms for our students for the 2017-18 school year and beyond. I wanted to take a moment to discuss with Crosby parents about modular classrooms and attempt to answer some questions regarding Modular classrooms:
First, why is this needed? As most of you know, our school has grown tremendously over the past few years. There are several new subdivisions being developed in our area and with that we only expect our enrollment to continue to increase. As of today, 60 lots are still available at Parks of Whitewater, another 300 lots have been approved at Whitewater Trails (development North of the Parks), and 200 additional lots still available at Fort Scott. When you add this up, we are looking at around 560 new homes in the Crosby Elementary attendance area in the near future. As you can see, the growth potential is great and present both a challenge and opportunity for our community moving forward. The impact of this growth is seen in our growing class size where we are currently running classes with as many as 35 students. We have made some adjustments to help with this challenge, such as adding 2 new classroom teachers this year bringing down our 1st grade and kindergarten class sizes. We are likely adding 4 more new teachers for the 17-18 school year bringing our school to 3 classes per grade level, building wide. While we know the addition of these new teachers is needed, we currently do not have the classrooms available for them. This growth is also a great testament to the communities that we serve. People want to move and be a part of our school district and local communities!
Second, what is a modular classroom? It is a separate building, that provides additional classroom space. This space is designed to be a short term (2 – 4 year) solution to assist districts with the expansion of schools. These types of classrooms have been used by a variety of school districts including Lakota, Fairfield, Winton Woods, Lockland and Cincinnati Public Schools to deal with the rapid growth of their communities. In the case of Crosby Elementary School, these classrooms will actually be some of our larger classrooms. In addition, modular classrooms will allow us to connect our current Public Address system and safety systems making the students and teachers who are in the modular classrooms connected to the main building. Attached to this email is a graphic, that will show where the potential modular classrooms would be located. Crosby Elementary School’s modular classroom building will be two buildings that will each have 2 classrooms, for a total of 4 new classrooms.
Third, which classes will take place in the modular space? We want to share that the 5th grade classes will be moved to the Modular Classrooms. This decision was made for 2 main reasons. The first being the available space. Our 5th graders are our biggest students in the school, with the most supplies and work space required. Also, students in the modular classrooms will be transitioning between their classrooms and the main building for specials and lunch. We felt that our oldest students would be most capable of handling those transitions.
Finally, our Board of Education has been extremely diligent in working with district and building leadership in researching multiple options / solutions to our massive enrollment growth. For example, the modular classroom, if approved would be placed off of the back left side of the building. There will be a ramp walk way connecting the modular units to the blacktop area on the left side of the cafeteria. Students will enter/exit the main building through the cafeteria. During the last several Board of Education meetings many of the questions and answers have been presented, and we will continue to work with the Board and community to answer any questions that may arise. Parents and community members can also get additional information or pose specific questions at http://southwestschools.org/modulars/ or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org
The bottom line for us at Crosby Elementary School, is our goal to provide the best possible learning environment for our students. With the rapid growth of our community, the modular classrooms will provide students with the needed space to learn, and teachers the needed space to effectively teach. This is extremely exciting for us as a school and as a community.