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Galesburg School Board Looks To Freeport On Grade Centers

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 214

The Galesburg School Board will be researching plans for grade centers in District 205.

Some guidance, however, was provided in the form of former Interim Superintendent Peter Flynn – who gave a presentation last night on a newly discussed format.

Flynn, who has been a Superintendent in several locations, has experience with grade centers in the Freeport School District.

Freeport is similar to Galesburg in the categories of class sizes, number of schools, and budgets.

Some schools there were able to combine multiple grades to save space. Flynn says over the years, they looked at several issues with the grade centers format.

“For a number of reasons, the number of transitions were too many for the students,” says Flynn. “There were four transitions that took place, so the students left the early childhood center, went to an elementary school; left there, went to a fifth and sixth grade school; left there, went to a seventh and eighth grade junior high school; left there, went to a high school – so there were four transitions.”

In 2008, the Freeport School District formed a committee which recommended in December of 2008 that the grade center structure be changed the following year.

Research found that when students changed schools, test scores dropped during the year of transition. Some bounce-back was reported on the second year, however.

Flynn advised the district to listen to people in the community before proceeding with any plans.