Letter to Families May 4, 2017

Letter from the staff at Licton Springs
Posted on 05/05/2017
Dear Parents and Caregivers,

On Thurs, May 4th, Roy Merca, our principal met with Marni Campbell, principal of Robert Eagle Staff Middle School and Jon Halfaker, NW Executive Director, regarding the allocation of classrooms at our new school site, Robert Eagle Staff. The current allocation of eight classrooms for Licton Springs is still the same when we move into the new building.

Relevant Facts Regarding the Licton Springs Student Population
• Over half of our students receive Titlel/LAP services in the areas of math, reading, communication, and social/emotional skills.
• Ten percent of our students are homeless and most of those students receive Titlel/LAP services.
• Twenty four percent of our students receive Special Education services.
• Native American students comprise 30% of our population. This is the highest percentage of Native American students in any school in the district.
• Most of our Native American students receive Titlel/LAP services. 

What the 8-Classroom Allocation Means for General Education
• Two different and distinct grade levels, both with a grade level teacher, will share a single classroom.
• In an untenable and unsafe arrangement, the middle school science teacher and the art teacher (who serves K-8), will share a single classroom.

What the 8-Classroom Allocation Means for Special Education
• ACCESS and Resource Room, both special education programs, will share a classroom even though these two programs serve students with wildly different needs. ACCESS students, in addition to receiving specially designed instruction in math, reading, writing, social/emotional, and communication, also require an environment that provides for deescalation.
• Combining ACCESS and Resource Room special education fails to provide students with a quiet, non-disruptive, non- distracting, small group or individual learning environment that is often included in the modification section in many of the students’ IEPs.

What the 8-Classroom Allocation Means for Titlel/LAP/ELL
• Despite our students’ need for an environment that is quiet, non-distracting, and in a small group setting, Titlel/LAP/ELL services may occur in combined grade classrooms, in shared spaces and/or in the hallway.

Two Exceptions to the Combined-Classrooms Configuration
• Special Education SM4- Special Education Self-Contained has its own classroom (federal
regulation)
• Kindergarten classroom does not share a room (a regulation)

Over the past year, the Licton Springs staff, the BLT, and the Site Council have worked constructively with the school board by writing letters and attending school board and community meetings. In fact, based on the January 2016 school board amendment, which stated keeping the school intact and growing the school to 250 students, we were optimistic that our need for a teacher -and a classroom--for each grade level would be met. As of March 2017 Licton Springs has been allocated a total of eight rooms at the Robert Eagle Staff Building.

On Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, the School Board passed Amendment 5 of the Student Assignment Plan to guarantee more space for Licton Springs K-8 at the Robert Eagle Staff building. Specifically, the amendment states ‘Facility space shall be provided for up to 250 students for Licton Springs K-8, with reconsideration as part of the 20 19-20 Student Assignment Plan.” 

As your colleagues and friends, we are asking for your help. First, we ask that you check Facebook at the Licton Springs community/parent group over the weekend to stay up to date on our plan to contact the School Board. Our intent is to voice our concerns at the School Board meeting on Wednesday, May 17th given the opportunity. As of the writing of this letter, the Board agenda has not been posted, so we do not know yet if we can give public testimony next Wednesday, so please check Facebook. If we can provide public testimony on Wednesday, we urge you to sign up between 8:00 and 8:05am on Monday, May 15th either by telephone or through email. We encourage you to attend the school board meeting regardless, wear your Licton Springs t-shirt and hold up a sign in support of Licton Springs, even if we do not have the opportunity to speak. We urge parents to come to any other meetings which may occur between now and when school begins in September.

The Licton Springs BLT & Staff
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