2022-2023 Phase II Transitions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Glendale Elementary School District (GESD) is committed to transparency and engaging in community conversations. Throughout this process, the District has implemented comprehensive staff and community communication to ensure accurate, timely, and reliable information for all stakeholders.
Why is GESD experiencing School Mergers/Repurposing and Boundary Changes?
The Glendale Elementary School District is dedicated to supporting the academic and social-emotional needs of our students, employees, and community. Although GESD has been strategic in its efforts to attract and retain families for sustainable enrollment, there continues to be declining enrollment for the next decade. The District works annually with demographers to identify current and historical demographics, economic development, and district enrollment numbers to project future enrollment trends to help ensure financial solvency. GESD recognizes the pandemic has created uncertainty; however, declining enrollment began in 2016-2017 and is projected to continue for the next decade. Please click on the demographic study conducted by a third party.
The following factors have been identified:
- Below average birth rates that began during the recession
- Lack of affordable family housing and residential development within the GESD boundaries
- Increased competition from K-8 charter schools and alternative education providers
How is GESD committing to fiscal stewardship?
Over the past several years, GESD has looked into several strategies to alleviate the constraints of inadequate funding. One way GESD did this was by taking the lead by entering into a lawsuit with the State of Arizona to address capital funding deficiencies. Additionally, GESD is actively involved in the legislative process to advocate for increased funding.
According to the Arizona Revised Statutes, if the Arizona State Board of Education determines that a school district is insolvent or has grossly mismanaged its finances, the state board is authorized to appoint a receiver or fiscal crisis team for that school district to take control of all administrative, financial, and operational responsibilities. In short, if GESD grossly mismanages its finances, the district may be taken over by the state. To avoid a state takeover of GESD and achieve operational efficiencies, the GESD Governing Board voted to approve school closures, boundary changes, and/or repurposing schools to help fulfill long-term sustainability.
What are the Phase II Transitions for the 2022-2023 school year?
In Phase II, there will be the closure of Coyote Ridge, Desert Garden, and Bicentennial North Schools.
Coyote Ridge students will be reassigned to Discovery. The Coyote Ridge facility will be repurposed into a "System of Care Center" offering community services.
The Desert Garden building will be repurposed into a preschool facility. Desert Garden students will be reassigned to Challenger or Don Mensendick and those schools will be reconfigured to K-8 models.
With the closure of Bicentennial North, students are reassigned to Bicentennial South or Don Mensendick. Bicentennial South will be reconfigured to a K-8 model. William C. Jack will also be reconfigured to a K-8 model.
In addition, boundary changes will reassign students based on the new 2022-2023 boundary grid. Discovery will have some students go to Sunset Vista or another site based on grid code assignments.
Why K-8 school configuration models?
GESD leadership researched the effectiveness of K-8 school models. Research on the positive and negative effects of K-8 configurations has shown that, for the most part, there are many more positive effects.
Some of the positive effects found in the research are:
- There is higher academic achievement specifically in reading and mathematics due to a continuous vertical articulation of grade levels.
- There is a greater sense of school community with siblings going to the same school and students are in familiar cohorts throughout K-8 instead of regrouping with new schools in middle and junior high schools.
- A positive social environment for the intermediate grade levels.
- Teacher collaboration is increased both horizontally and vertically.
In the K-8 model, will the younger grade level students be interacting with older students on the playground?
No, each school site will have separate playground areas for students based on grade level.
In the K-8 model, will the younger and older grade levels use the same bathroom facilities?
No, GESD facilities will be working to ensure that there are separate bathroom facilities for our younger student and older student populations.