Updates for 2013-14 Enrollment

The Arco Iris School Board has recently approved a long-term enrollment plan beginning with the 2013-2014 school year. This plan outlines the school’s growth through the next charter cycle (3 years) and beyond.

Beginning with the 1st grade class in 2013-2014, Arco Iris will enroll two classrooms of 1st grade students. These two classrooms will provide the foundation of our goal to eventually grow to two classrooms at each grade level, 1st grade through 5th grade. We will not immediately enroll 2 classrooms per grade at each grade level, rather, we will begin with the 1st grade in Fall 2013 and continue to add 2 new classrooms of 1st graders with each subsequent year.  This controlled growth plan allows for ideal staffing (team pairs), planning, and budgeting while we grow towards our target enrollment in the 2017-2018 school year.

Planning for our middle school is well underway, with the goal of providing another competitive middle school option for our students.  Understandably, other local district schools (e.g. SUMMA programs, option schools) will draw away some of our students for middle school.  With this in mind, we are proposing growing to a junior high enrollment of 75 students (25 students each in 6th, 7th and 8th grade).  We believe that when combined with the 250 elementary students, a school size of ~325 students by 2017-2018 is ideal for a combined elementary/middle school environment.

After much thought and evaluation, this also means that school-wide blending will end with the 2012-2013 school year. After review of 2 years of student achievement data, Arco Iris students did not see added academic performance by using the blended classroom model.  This data, combined with the additional work-load that blending requires and the specific grade level requirements for Common Core State Standards will bring, led the school board and our principal to decide to return to a traditional classroom setting. Staff next year will begin the work on incorporating the new grade level Common Core State Standards into curriculum plans.

The classroom count for the 2013-2014 enrollment is listed below. It takes into account our current enrollment and our long-term plans.

  • 1st grade: 2 classrooms
  • 2nd grade: 1 classroom
  • 3rd grade: 1 classroom
  • 4th grade: 2 classrooms (due to current enrollment of 48)
  • 5th grade: 1 classroom
  • 6th/7th grade: 1 classroom

Arco Iris will implement a lottery on Wednesday, April 24th at 6:00 pm to enroll new students in 1st through 5th grades. The lottery will be open to the public, but parents do not need be present.

We will also be presenting the plans for the middle school on Wednesday, April 17th at 5:30 pm – parents and students are welcome! We are excited to share our preliminary plans for middle school and why we think it’s a great option for our students.

We appreciate everyone’s support as we grow and establish ourselves as a solid and challenging academic program. It has been an amazing three first years, and we are really looking forward to our next charter cycle and the opportunities it will bring. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask one of your Consejo de padres representatives or the office staff.

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4 Responses to Updates for 2013-14 Enrollment

  1. DJ says:

    Thank you for the immense amount of work and care you have put into this planning! It is a blessing to know my kid(s) will have such a fantastic school available to them, and that we are on the way to having it available all the way through junior high.

  2. J Rain says:

    Great Post – Thanks Deonne.

  3. Susan Murray says:

    I’m confused about the number of first grade classes this coming fall. In this post it says that there will be 2 first grade classrooms starting this year (2013-2014), but the lottery only allowed for 23 spots, which I assume is one classroom. Could you please clarify whether another class of first graders will be added from the waitlist? Thanks.

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