A year in review for Big Park Community School

Deborah Jones, Big Park Community School Principal

Deborah Jones, Big Park Community School Principal

Happy New Year! 2016 was a busy year at Big Park Community School. There was talk of the school closing and much anxiety about this at the school and in the community, at this time last year. The decision was made by the Board to move the 7th and 8th grades to a new space on the high school campus. They would share teachers with the high school and have access to new opportunities there. There were very vocal board meetings and community members who came together to create plans to support Big Park students, teachers and families.

The Board decided to keep Big Park open.

Staff members and Site Council Members began exploring what it would take to rebrand and rebuild Big Park Community School. A new principal was to be hired half time for Big Park, while Mr. Litwicki was charged with opening the new Junior High and now serves as the principal. I was fortunate to be selected as the new principal.

Our staff, community and parents came together to support the exploration of the International Baccalaureate Program and the possibility of becoming authorized as a Primary Years Program International School. Research was done and staff members visited another school. We received the support of Don and Jan Groves who have extensive IB experience. Community members raised the money to train each of our teachers. We began the process of educating our parents and the community about what it means to be an International Baccalaureate School.

Teachers completed training in the fall and are busy creating units of study for students to begin this next semester. We will continue to learn more, create more and inform all stakeholders as this journey continues. We are excited about the possibilities this presents for our students and their families! Enrollment is increasing and students are thriving. Our Site Council is actively working to increase marketing, develop curriculum and engage the community. We can hardly wait to see what happens in 2017!

Thank you for supporting your neighborhood school!

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