Most parents vote for school format change - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Most parents vote for school format change

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Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2006 6:04 am | Updated: 5:10 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Goodman Elementary School in Chandler is one step closer to converting to a traditional academy after a large majority of parents surveyed favor the change.

Chandler Unified School District officials say declining enrollment at the school was one reason the idea was broached to parents back in September. Traditional academies have proven to be a hit in the district with more than 400 parents currently on a waiting list to enroll their children in one of two campuses already open.

At first, a low number of Goodman parents responded to surveys requesting their input on changes that would include having teachers use advanced instruction methods in reading classes and get student achievement in math to one grade level above state requirements. A “prescribed dress code,” also would be enforced with polo shirts in red, white or blue and pants or skirts in khaki or navy blue.

Since initial meetings, parents and teachers have toured other CTAs or Chandler Traditional Academies to get an idea of what their school would look like under the new standards. If Goodman is converted to a CTA for the next school year, it will be the third of its kind in the district. The fourth academy — CTA Independence — is being constructed and will open in July.

The district won’t go through with the changes unless governing board members vote in favor of the school’s conversion at the next meeting on March 8.

If the changes go through, teachers and staff at the school — about 16 of the current 24 who say they’ll stay — will have to complete 45 hours of training to learn the Spalding teaching method. The method focuses on phonics and incorporates reading, writing and oral language in every lesson to produce fluent, proficient spellers, said Karen Lee, a fourthgrade teacher at Goodman who observed CTA Liberty recently.

“I’m very excited about this,” Lee said. “What I saw were kids (that knew) ‘this is my job to do’ and they were sitting up straight, excited and engaged in the learning” process.

Lee said she’s also looking forward to using the Spalding teaching method in reading because every student from kindergarten through sixth grade would be taught uniformly with consistency.

“It keeps everybody on the same page,” Lee said.

Survey results

Parent survey results for changing Goodman Elementary School in Chandler to a traditional academy: 87 percent in favor 4.5 percent plan to transfer their child to nearby Andersen Elementary School 2 percent plan to have child attend another Chandler school 4 percent have other plans 2 percent undecided

Source: Chandler Unified School District

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