Jenda Nye, public information specialist, Cache County School District
Over the past few years, Cache County School District (CCSD) has experienced tremendous growth. District-wide fall enrollment has grown an average of nearly 500 students each year for the last three years. That’s roughly the population of an entire elementary school.
In response to the district’s growth, and in anticipation of future students, a bond committee was formed and two new high schools, an elementary school, a grade reconfiguration and the remodel of a handful of older schools were planned. That plan has almost reached its conclusion.
Here are the benefits of the new schools and grade reconfiguration:
Fewer transitions for students.
Longtime residents of Cache County can probably remember when there were K-2, 3-5, 6-7, 8-9 and 10-12 schools. At one point, students went through five schools during their K-12 education. With the new grade configuration, students will only attend three schools: K-6 elementary, 7-8 middle and 9-12 high school.
Gary Thomas, executive director of elementary education, said, “Having fewer transitions means that students can settle in and get to know the teachers and staff at each school. As relationships are established, teachers are better able to meet the academic needs of individual students.”
An integrated K-6 curriculum.
These changes will provide more flexibility in the instructional schedule. In the elementary setting, administrators and teachers can construct the daily schedule so students have more instructional time learning key subjects.
A unified 9-12 curriculum.
Once students enter ninth grade, their class credits and grades count toward graduation. However, in past years, when ninth grade was still part of middle school, sometimes this significance didn’t register with students. With the new grade configuration, ninth grade has moved into the high schools.
Tim Smith, chief academic officer, believes this will be a positive change. “Having ninth grade in high school will allow for better integration of the curriculum for ninth-12th grade students, and will allow for additional flexibility in student schedules,” Tim said. “It will also allow us to better utilize the teachers at these schools who teach across grade levels.”
Additional extra-curricular opportunities for high school students.
With the completion of Green Canyon High School, CCSD is now operating four high schools. This means opportunities will significantly increase for students to participate in leadership, performing and visual arts, sports and school-sponsored clubs and organizations. This first year, all five Cache Valley high schools will participate as 4A schools, creating a great atmosphere of competition and sportsmanship.
Elementary Schools (K-6)
Birch Creek, Canyon, Cedar Ridge, Greenville, Heritage, Lewiston, Lincoln, Millville, Mountainside, Nibley, North Park, Providence, River Heights, Summit, Sunrise, Wellsville and White Pine
Middle Schools (7-8)
North Cache, South Cache and Spring Creek
High Schools (9-12)
Green Canyon, Mountain Crest, Ridgeline and Sky View
Alternative High School (9-12)
Cache High (Still under construction)