By Dennis Blauser
Superintendent, Oracle Schools
On Feb. 18 the Oracle School District Governing Board will discuss the idea of moving both pre-school and kindergarten to the Mountain Vista Campus. Currently these two programs are housed at the Oracle Ridge Campus which is about 3.5 miles east of the Mountain Vista Campus. The governing board meeting will be held at the Oracle Ridge campus at 6 p.m. at which time the public is welcome to give their input regarding the proposed move.
For quite some time the district has been considering this move in order to become more financially efficient and also to be able to provide a more fluid, seamless educational experience for it’s pre-school through eighth grade students. Although the Oracle Ridge Campus is very nice and still very valuable to the district, having all of the students on one campus, similar to most other schools, allows the district to efficiently conduct staff development. It also allows the district to provide better services such as library access, special education, physical education and special programs to pre-k and kindergarten students. The total number of classrooms that would be closed would be three. The district will explore leasing and other options for the affected classrooms.
Most of the district resources such as special education, transportation and food services are based at the Mountain Vista Campus. Having the separate campuses forces the district to have extra bus runs and run an additional small scale cafeteria. With careful planning, the Mountain Vista Campus can easily hold the additional students for years to come. Both kindergarten teachers are very excited about the move and agree that it is the best thing for the students.
Not only will the students benefit from this move, it is estimated that the district will save between 30 and 40 thousand dollars per year by consolidating the campuses. If the move occurs, the district is hoping to expand its pre-school offerings in a newly re-furbished setting complete with a new curriculum. This year the district implemented a comprehensive new reading program and is excited to have a progressive new math program in place for the 2014/2015 school year. We are confident that having our students on one campus combined with our new and exciting curricular offerings will make the Oracle School District an even better place for students to grow and learn.