With the district deciding to close Discovery Passage and Oyster River Elementary schools at the end of this school year, work needs to begin on transitioning the students from those facilities to their new ones at Ripple Rock and Ocean Grove, Assistant Superintendent Nevenka Fair told the Board of Education Tuesday night.
To that end, each school community slated for closure has had a Transition Committee formed to address student and family transition issues to make their arrival and integration at their new facilities as seamless as possible.
Each committee, Fair told the board, consists of one administrator, two educators and three parents. Superintendent Tom Longridge will be chairing the committee for the Oyster River/Ocean Grove committee and Fair herself will chair the Discovery Passage/Ripple Rock committee.
The first priority for each committee, Fair said, “is about listening to parents’ concerns and students’ concerns around the academic, social and emotional pieces and cultural components,” of making the transition to the new schools.
Fair says the transition is framed much like a reconfiguration of grades, which they have gone through in the past, so they are using a similar approach.
There are some things they have already started examining in terms of the transition, Fair says, because some aspects will take longer to iron out than others — such as transportation issues, support services, library resources and staffing implications — but most of the work and the order in which it will happen, “will be directed by what happens out of the transition committees,” once they start to meet, Fair said.
The Board of Education has asked Fair to continue to update them on the progress of these committees throughout the process.