Beginning in the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year, Orting Primary School will expand its services to once again become Orting Elementary School, serving students from pre-Kindergarten through 4th grade. The following year, in 2024-2025, Orting Elementary School will serve through 5th grade. This change brings numerous benefits and opportunities for our children, and I would like to take a moment to explain the significance of a K-5 elementary program and the positive impact it will have on their learning journey.
We firmly believe in providing a strong foundation for every child's education, and this transition aligns perfectly with that vision. By expanding our program to encompass through 5th grade, we are offering a seamless educational experience for our students, fostering continuity and stability in their learning environment. This continuity is essential for their academic and social development, as it allows for consistent relationships with teachers, peers, and staff members, creating a supportive community that nurtures their growth.
Identification of Boundaries
The vision of the Board of Directors is to eventually have two equal-sized and comparable elementary schools. We have established the boundaries below to help in this regard. Beginning next year, we will enroll students aligned to these boundaries to the greatest degree possible. With limited space in the current OPS building and with growth on the horizon, we will undoubtedly experience challenges along the way. But, beginning this process early, we will significantly reduce challenges by the time we are able to open a new facility in the future.
As you can see below, the Orting Elementary School Boundary (shown in green) is encompassed by the residences north of Hwy. 162 and east of Orville Rd. These are the students who will attend the new school in the fall of 2027, if approved by voters. Students living south of Hwy. 162 and west of Orville Rd. will attend Ptarmigan Ridge Elementary (shown in orange). Although we will enroll new students aligned to these boundaries to the greatest extent possible, facility space, class size, support services and family choice will all play a role in final enrollment decisions.
Our elementary school population grew by about 5 percent this year. To reduce class sizes and accommodate for growth, we are adding four classrooms at Ptarmigan Ridge next year. Some current 1st grade students at OPS will be reassigned to PTR, where they will remain for the rest of their elementary career. Historically, this transition happens from the 3rd to 4th grade year, so this will be ahead of the norm. Also, a few classes of current 3rd grade students will remain at OPS as 4th graders as opposed to moving to PTR for 4th grade as is current practice for all. These students will remain at OES for the 2024-2025 school year as 5th grade students.
Families will receive notification prior to school getting out identifying which school their child(ren) will attend. Our aim is to keep families together and prioritize class size. Over time, we aim to minimize transition points for students for the reasons stated previously. Once decisions have been made and announced, families will still be able to request attendance at the other school as is current practice, through the transfer process.