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Elementary Expansion Project

Teachers

Rosa Parks staff

For nearly two years, Middletown City School District has identified addressing overcrowding and space concerns in the elementary buildings as a priority. In 2018, the district evaluated a variety of options for adding new academic space. In October 2018, the Middletown Board of Education determined adding space to an existing building was the most fiscally responsible decision.

From February through March 2019, district leaders met with every elementary school community and staff to discuss the options for the $10 million elementary expansion project. At the February 25 and March 18 BOE meetings, Mr. Styles shared the input from each meeting. At the April 8 BOE meeting, Mr. Styles shared a proposal with the board recommending Rosa Parks Elementary as the location for the expansion project. At the April 29 BOE meeting, the board voted their approval for Rosa Parks Elementary.

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In the News

In the News

"“In line with Middletown City School District’s strategic plan, we want every child to receive an exceptional learning experience. By adding more space to our elementary schools, [the] design team will be able to give more children access to innovative programing with a focus on contemporary design and delivery of instruction.” -Chris Urso, MCSD BOE President.

Journal-News Articles

April 30, 2019: Middletown school board reversal: $10M school expansion plan approved

April 9, 2019: Middletown superintendent wants $10M expansion to elementary school

March 1, 2019: Public debates the last piece of Middletown Schools' huge $96M building project

February 26, 2019: Middletown’s Delayed $10M elementary school plan: District seeks public input

January 3, 2019: Middletown saved $10M on the large school construction project, so it’s expanding another building

October 9, 2018: Middletown elementary to get $10 million addition

District Articles

April 30, 2019: Middletown Board of Education Votes 5-0 to Build Addition on Rosa Parks

March 27, 2019: Change in Middletown Schools Open Enrollment Practice

March 4, 2019: ICYMI Public Debates Elementary Expansion Project

February 27, 2019: ICYMI We're Seeking Public Input: Elementary Expansion

December 21, 2018: Keeping You in the Know: Central Academy Building Project Update

October 9, 2018: Middletown Schools to Build Addition on Central Academy

October 5, 2018: Middletown Board of Education to Vote on Proposed Addition to Central Academy  

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Building FAQ

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Why now? 

For nearly two years, Middletown City School District has identified addressing enrollment and space concerns in our elementary buildings as a priority. Amanda Elementary, Creekview Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary, and Wildwood Elementary are experiencing the highest degree of enrollment and space concerns.  At the September 24, 2018 Board of Education (BOE) meeting, discussion focused on building capacity and new, innovative academic programming at the Middletown City School District’s elementary schools. At the October 8, 2018 BOE meeting, the board passed a resolution to solve the space and overcrowding problem (read more here).

Why Rosa Parks Elementary (option 1)?

The district evaluated a variety of options for adding new academic space. In the fall of 2018, the district determined adding space to an existing building was the most fiscally responsible decision. The district explored two options, neither to exceed $10 million: Option 1.) Add approximately 28,000 square feet on to one existing building, or Option 2.) Add classrooms onto multiple buildings.

The architects on the project, Fanning Howey, assessed each of our elementary schools and recommended one building (option 1) to be the best option to maximize the $10 million budget. With the construction project at one school, we have the ability to add more innovative classroom spaces, servicing more students. Therefore, based on the feedback from the architects and our community, the administration used the information to drive the decision in naming Rosa Parks Elementary as the best option for the construction project.

The costs of the project at the other elementary schools went well over the budgeted $10 million.

Will Rosa Parks Elementary have additional support staff?

With an increase in student body, we will staff the building appropriately. We will have a principal, assistant principal, four new staff members, plus staff from our other elementary schools. Our teacher:student ratio will remain consistent across the district. Back in February 2019, the Rosa Parks Elementary staff made their desire for the project in their school known to the community, BOE, and administrators. We believe in the Rosa Parks staff. They are excited to start the work transforming the education of each and every one of our MCSD elementary students.

What are the next steps/Things we’re working on:

  • The district will host a series of community engagement sessions. We will announce the dates, times, and locations soon.

  • We will collaborate with the Fanning Howey architect team to finalize the new building design. We will share the artistic renderings with our community as part of our engagement sessions.

  • Over the next several months, the MCSD administration will begin developing plans for the enrollment process. We look forward to being transparent with the community on this topic.

  • Our Curriculum Department is already working on a comprehensive professional development plan for the Rosa Parks Elementary staff. To learn more about Challenge Based Learning (CBL), please see below.

How will the district fund the project?

Financing for this project comes from the $10,000,000 savings we incurred from the State of Ohio on our Middletown High School renovation and new Middletown Middle School construction projects. At the October 8, 2018 BOE meeting the board passed a resolution to sell the remaining bond funds to add additional academic space. As with any any project involving construction, the construction timeline dictates delivery.  Project decisions are being made now to ensure the new academic space will be ready August 2021. The $10 million project does not require a bond levy (read more here).

“In May 2014, the Middletown voters passed a bond issue for $55 million. Through our partnership with the State of Ohio, we only needed to utilize $45 million for the new Middle School and modernized High School. This means we have $10 million we can use on permanent improvement projects such as adding to an existing building. The cost of the project including architect fees, construction management, and the actual construction is limited to the $10 million.” -Randy Bertram, Treasurer at MCSD.

When will the project start and end?

At this time we are working with the architects on the overall design for the project. A construction timeline will be generated in the near future.

Academic FAQ

Tell me about the new programming.

The innovative programming presented to the BOE on January 14 and 28 will move forward into the planning phase.  The Curriculum Department will develop a plan for professional learning to occur around Challenge Based Learning (CBL), K-5 coding, Mastery Based Grading, and Genius Hour beginning this summer and continuing through the next school year. Eventually, the Curriculum Department will scale out the programming to implement in all elementary buildings. We will design the new innovative academic space to support the functional, academic needs of the new program.

PBL vs. CBL

What is Challenge Based Learning (CBL)?

Challenge Based Learning (CBL) is a learning framework that gives students the chance to solve real-world challenges. The framework fuels collaboration between students, teachers, families, and community members to identify big ideas, ask thoughtful questions, and identify, investigate and solve challenges. This approach helps students gain deep subject area knowledge and develop the skills necessary to thrive in an ever-changing world.

To learn more about CBL, please visit https://cbl.digitalpromise.org/.

What is Genius Hour?

Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school.

To learn more about Genius hour, please visit http://geniushour.com/.