“What we’ve been doing over the summer is preparing the building to transform from an elementary school to an early childhood school,” Hopewell Early Childhood School Principal Mary Brophy said.
The district’s kindergartners are also going to see a big change.
“Another big shift that we were able to do because of that was, we’re offering all-day kindergarten for the first time at Lakota to everybody,” Lakota Local Schools Superintendent Matt Miller said.
Hopewell Elementary is now becoming Hopewell Early Childhood School. Formerly grades 2 through 6, now K through 2.
“These changes that we’re doing and the setting that we’re creating for our kids will be more of a robust, fuller academic setting for them,” Miller said.
There will be more special classes like art, music and technology. Second graders will now be the oldest in their building versus the youngest, and they’ll be better prepared for third grade.
“That becomes some of those really high stakes times with the third grade reading guarantee here in Ohio. So that we’re having them confidently step into those elementary settings ready to go,” Brophy said.
The district still has a lot to do in order to be ready for students to arrive on the first day of school, but volunteers are helping prepare the buildings.
“I think we’ll be ready and smiling faces,” Brophy said.
There will be 6 K-2 schools in the district. Another new change this year is that 7th and 8th graders will be getting personal laptops or tablets for the new school season.