At the most recent School Board meeting we discussed ideas to expand the capacity at our schools to meet our growing enrollment challenge.  Many of our schools are at or over capacity.   One new idea that was discussed would be to build upper elementary or intermediate schools to house grades four and five at both the Central and Tierra Linda campuses.   

This approach provides a number of benefits.  First,  it would help the District meet the capacity challenges we face, by turning our current elementary schools into a K-3 structure, reducing them down to a more manageable size of between 350-400 students each.   This approach would also reduce student population at Central and Tierra Linda to a more appropriate size and return them to more traditional 6-8 middle schools.   Second, as fourth grade is a transitional year of greater academic challenge, creating a four/five school better aligns those students from a teaching perspective.   Finally, this would create an opportunity to build and modernize schools for all San Carlos students that are more conducive to 21st century learning at both middle school campuses.  

As a next step the School Board must decide by mid-August whether to place a bond measure on the November ballot to fund the construction of those new schools.     

We also heard a presentation from Central Principal Steve Kaufman about potential scheduling changes at that middle school.  The staff has been looking at expanding to a seven period day to provide more opportunities for students to take elective classes including adding back Spanish.    This approach would reduce the overall minutes for each period, but the use of block scheduling would assist in ensuring that students are not losing significant learning time in core subjects.  This approach would also mean reduced class sizes which would give teachers more time to spend with individual students.   Tierra Linda for its part is not looking at as robust a change to their schedule, but they will be adding additional options for French classes so that students can study that language for multiple years.  A lot of thought and work has gone into these proposals and they should have a positive impact on the academic experience at both schools.