Elementary students will experience art, music and physical education at the same level next school year
The following letter from Superintendent Chris Gdowski was sent to all elementary school parents and guardians concerning the budget and specials on April 18.
April 18, 2012
Dear Elementary School Parents and Guardians:
Adams 12 Five Star Schools is committed to ensuring all of our students experience a well-rounded education that will prepare them for a global economy. We believe art, music and physical education play a critical role in achieving that commitment.
I’m writing you today because I want to put to rest incorrect information that’s been circulated within our school communities indicating that elementary specials will experience cuts next year.
I want to be very clear. We are committed to offering art, music and physical education in every elementary school, regardless of their size. Your child will continue to experience art, music and physical education next school year at the same level as they have this year.
Lower student enrollment at some of our schools does not require a full-time staff member in order to offer the same level of specials instruction as in years past. For example, to offer all specials, a smaller school may need 0.8 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for art, 0.8 FTE for music and 0.8 FTE for physical education. This would result in an FTE savings of 0.6 FTE which can be applied toward minimizing additional class size increase in grade level classrooms.
For next year, we currently have 18 schools that do not require a full-time position in each of the specials areas: art, music and physical education. Funding specials in those schools at a level less than 1.0 FTE will result in a district-wide savings of $1 million, or 13.5 FTE. The additional FTE can be used to address class size issues in our elementary schools.
We heard from more than 4,250 staff, parents and community members during our public engagement process for the budget this year. We know from those who participated in the process that they place a high priority on specials and class size. The budgeting approach I’ve outlined above allows us to support both of those priorities.
I appreciate your support during these challenging economic times. Thank you for partnering with our schools and the district to keep the focus on student success.