Elementary Reconfiguration

Elementary Reconfiguration
Posted on 12/26/2018
From Zach Templeton, Mexico 59 Superintendent

Recently the Mexico Public School Board of Education made an historic vote that will impact the program of early learning throughout the district. The school board approved the reconfiguration of early childhood and elementary education in order to provide access to more preschool age children and to provide equity, consistency, and efficiency in grades one through five within the district.
The approved reconfiguration involves converting McMillan school from a preschool and K-5 elementary, that currently is serving approximately 200 school aged students plus all the district preschool students, to an early learning center that will serve all district kindergarten students, regardless of where they live, plus an expanded preschool program that could serve an additional 30-60 children. The district’s first through fifth grade students will attend either Eugene Field elementary school or Hawthorne elementary school depending on the location of the family’s home. By concentrating the students into two schools rather than three, it will allow the district to create balanced class sizes across the district which currently fluctuate as much as eleven students in a classroom, depending on the grade level and the school. An additional benefit will be the ability for teachers to collaborate within their grade level teams to focus on the social emotional and academic needs of age specific students.

The change in how education will be delivered was proposed and developed with the best intentions for student access to learning and ultimately to the success of the children within this community. We recognize that patrons will have a level of anxiety and concern about the change, and we want to work together to ensure that we have a plan that meets the needs of learners and their families. We accept that, for many people, change is difficult. There is an element of unknown that comes with change that creates unease and stress for people. Some of our district teachers may be experiencing this emotion due to the change. Certainly some parents and students are likely in the same position. There has been a great deal of research on a human tendency to prefer what they have rather than something that they could have. The fear of loss is greater than the potential for gain; it’s human nature. Our mission at Mexico Public Schools is to create an exceptional education experience for students that serves students’ needs for emotional well being, academic aptitude, social inclusion, and an overall sense of life contentment that serves their future as members of society. We believe that we have to be willing to rethink our approach and have the courage to make changes in order to achieve that mission.

Regardless of personal feelings about the new configuration, we hope that you will continue to show your support for the efforts of educators to make a positive impact on the lives of students. We will make every effort to make this change a positive event that serves our community learners. We welcome thoughts and concerns that could assist the transition. We are excited for the possibilities and for the future of the students of Mexico Public Schools. If we all work towards achieving our goals with an attitude that remains focused on the positive and a determination to succeed, we cannot fail. 

Have a blessed holiday season. We are looking forward to having all of our students back in the halls of Mexico Public Schools in 2019.