A committee put together by Teton County School District No. 1 is unanimously suggesting the board of trustees vote to approve a separate elementary school for the dual immersion program.
Committee members didn’t agree on which school — Jackson, Colter or Munger — it should be.
The findings of the report may not mirror the board’s final decision. Trustees meet today at 4 p.m. to hear the findings of the report and at 6 p.m. for their regular monthly meeting.
An action item on tonight’s agenda is the reconsideration of whether to devote a magnet school to dual immersion — meaning equal numbers of native Spanish and English speakers share a classroom and learn half the day in each language — an educational model the district introduced in 2009. The program is, at present, limited to classes within traditionally operated schools.
The committee was formed to communicate the findings from a dual immersion study group to help the board understand the important factors related to both options. It consisted of four traditional teachers, two dual teachers, three specialized teachers, like art or library teachers, and four parents.
Kathy Milburn, the principal of Wilson Elementary School, facilitated the committee. Local principals, an assistant principal and a district official were small group leaders.
Trustee Keith Gingery, who made a motion in December to continue the item to January, wishes the committee had been formed earlier. He said the documents provided to him solidified his position in favor of the dual school.
“If we’re going to be basing our decisions on objective data, this clearly demonstrates that the dual school is the way to go,” Gingery said.
The report estimates that creating a dual magnet school would cost an additional $100,000 in transportation but, in total, save $650,000 by reducing the need for 7.5 teachers.
“That, to me, was substantial,” Gingery said.
Are the results conclusive? Gingery thinks so, even though he knows it might not make everyone happy.
“It is my hope that we’ll be able to vote one way or the other,” he said.
Trustee Janine Teske, however, hinted that she’d like more time.
“I always take time to reflect,” Teske said. “And since the workshop is the same day as what is proposed as a vote, it seems like insufficient time for the board to reflect on the information presented at the workshop.”