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Welcome 4th Grade Students

Dear 4th Grade Families,

The transition has been successfully completed. Eastover has grown into its new structure as a lower elementary, and East Hills has benefited from having a true upper elementary experience for fourth and fifth grades.

Thank you for your continued support!

Jason Rubel
Principal of EHMS

Information Archive

2017 4TH GRADE TRANSITION PLAN

May 16, 2017 Update

FEBRUARY 3, 2017 UPDATE


Dear Families,

We want to keep you apprised of what has transpired regarding the 2017-2018 reconfiguration of Eastover into a K-3 building and East Hills into a 4-8 building. Much work has begun. This is the second update and you can expect to see updates every 3-4 weeks via the email newsletter and district transition website. We have been working collaboratively to make sure this is a smooth transition for everyone involved.

Actions taken since the December 23rd transition update include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Continued to meet with architects, designers, and contractors to explore physical space options and possibilities at East Hills
    • - considering opportunities to reuse or repurpose building and district assets to support any needs (ex: books, furniture, cabinetry)
  • Lead Transition Team met on three occasions
    • finalized subcommittee structure to include balanced membership from both school communities
    • aligned the scope of subcommittee work
    • identified ways for student involvement in the process
      • Focus groups
      • Student leadership
      • Surveys
  • Subcommittees have begun meeting to set group norms, objectives, meeting patterns and to review/provide feedback on scope of work
  • Updates were shared with PTO, Staff, and Students
    • Included Superintendent Dialogue at East Hills
  • Transition Website (link found on both Eastover and East Hills webpages) was released across the district on Thursday, January 26th
    • Provides source for updates as well as submission of questions
  • Administrative teams met with students
    • Shared leadership opportunities, concept map, infographic, playground structure
    • New opportunities were created for current 3rd graders at Eastover

We welcome involvement from all interested stakeholders; students, families, staff, and the larger community as we move forward. As we continue to plan the transition of the 4th grade from Eastover to East Hills, we have created this new district transition webpage to collect and to share information. Over the course of the coming months, we will continue to add more specifics as they become available. If you have questions about the process, please use the Q & A form found on the transition website. Please also feel free to contact us .

Carey Crocker
-Jason Rubel
-Angie Konzen

FEBRUARY 3, 2017 BOE MEETING

December 23, 2016 Update

Dear Families,

We wanted to send home an update before the holiday break so that you are aware of what has transpired regarding the reconfiguration of Eastover into a K-3 building and East Hills into a 4-8 building. We have been working collaboratively to make sure this is a smooth transition for everyone involved. Outlined below you will find what has been happening and what is forthcoming.

Actions taken since the December 6 Board of Education decision include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Early communication was sent to PTO, staff, students, and larger community on behalf of Eastover and East Hills administration teams to let everyone know the decision was made and transition work would begin
  • Eastover and East Hills administrators and Central Office members met to outline a process for the transition
  • A design was developed (see infographic here)
  • Conceptual ideas regarding the physical layout of East Hills for next year were developed with East Hills and Eastover administrators, Central Office, and Physical Plant Services
  • Conceptual ideas were shared with PTO members and staff
  • Meetings with architects to design and to determine the best utilization of physical space
  • Current 3rd and 4th grade students at Eastover voted on playground equipment to be installed at East Hills
  • Meetings with 3rd grade teachers at Eastover about leadership opportunities that will be created to support students for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year
  • Administrators reached out to staff and PTO boards to establish a lead transition team
  • Lead Transition Team consists of 13 people including administrators, staff members and PTO members from Eastover and East Hills
  • Staff and grade level teacher meetings to outline the transition process
  • Draft documents have been established to define the tasks, roles, and responsibilities of sub committees based on recent feedback as well as that from community and staff meetings last school year
  • Initial outreach to form sub-committees that will be further developed in January
  • Initial Lead Transition Team meeting to examine sub-committee structures that allow for feedback and input into the process

We welcome involvement from all interested stakeholders; students, families, staff, and the larger community as we move forward. Please take a moment to become familiar with the Eastover/East Hills infographic (shown at the bottom) that outlines the identified sub-committees where information will be gathered, studied, and recommended.

We look forward to building on the outlined work as we continue to develop and implement the transition process in the months ahead. More involved sub-committee work will begin in 2017. If you have questions about the process or are interested in getting involved, please contact a Lead Transition Team member listed below. Even if you are not part of a sub-committee, we want to ensure that all voices are heard as we move forward together. There will be other opportunities seeking your input and feedback. You can also contact any of the Lead Transition Team contacts at any time.

Lead Transition Team contacts:

Rachel Antone rachelantone@mac.com (Eastover PTO Executive Board)

Michele Linn michele@linncommunications.com (Eastover PTO Executive Board)

Erin Watson erinawatson@yahoo.com (East Hills PTO Executive Board)

Tracey Kevelighan tck@kevlaw.com (East Hills PTO Executive Board)

Carey Crocker ccrocker@bloomfield.org (Eastover Principal)

Jason Rubel jrubel@bloomfield.org (East Hills Principal)

Angie Konzen akonzen@bloomfield.org (East Hills Associate Principal)

Please look for further communication from the Lead Transition Team regarding future and ongoing opportunities to get involved as part of the district’s transition process.

Thank you and happy holidays,
Carey Crocker, Jason Rubel, and Angie Konzen

DECEMBER 6, 2016 BOE MEETING

4th Grade Transition, Board of Education Update December 6, 2016 from BHS-TV on Vimeo.

Playground Selection

Students! Thank you for voting! These images show the playground you selected for East Hills:

Playground Image One

Playground Image Two

Conceptual Map

The conceptual map outlines the potential layout of East Hills for next school year. Please note that the 200 hallway will be used specifically for 4th and 5th grade classrooms allowing for the creation of an upper elementary area within the building. On the map, there are two doors highlighted near the front of the 200 hallway and at the beginning of the 300 hallway to define the elementary space. The 300 and 400 hallways will be designated for middle school and the areas indicated in red will be used primarily for elective and specials. Support programming will be situated near the respective grade level classrooms. This conceptual map is to provide some initial information about the physical layout of the building, but does not include specific details.


Gateway Space Concept

Gateway conceptual drawing

Gateway Conceptual Drawing

Gateway Conceptual Drawing

NEWS ARCHIVE

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Transition Feedback

When was this decision made?

The decision to move the 4th grade from Eastover to East Hills at the start of the 2017-2018 school year was made by the Board of Education on December 6, 2016.

What about increasing enrollment?

The unexpected enrollment bump experienced in 2017 was largely seen at the elementary levels, but was distributed fairly evenly across the entire district. The bump was not significant enough to even begin considering opening a 5th elementary school and we do not anticipate enrollment will continue to increase rapidly whatsoever. Should our projections be slightly off in the coming years, we are confident we will be able to serve students within our current configuration for years to come.

WHAT WAS DONE TO REPLICATE ACTIVITIES SPECIFIC TO THE LOWER GRADES?

The current third grade students have three new and unique opportunities including: service squad, SOAR club, and inside recess monitors. The Community Building Subcommittee has also developed a number of opportunities for 4th and 5th grade students in collaboration with PTO, staff, and Parks and Recreation.

What about Fox Hills as an option for kindergarten?

There are transportation and other concerns with this. Also, building culture and relationships are important in Bloomfield Hills Schools, which would be disrupted with kindergarten students in another building.

Why not keep Hickory Grove or Lahser open?

The old Lahser site needs at least $11 million in maintenance is no longer a viable option as a school without a cost-prohibitive investment. In addition, the district long ago considered Lahser as a middle school and concluded it did not want a middle school that large. We do not have enough students to justify reopening Hickory Grove, which would be a very expensive undertaking to operate-- especially when we have existing capacity at East Hills and evidence that a 4-8 arrangement similar to what we have at West Hills can serve students very successfully.

HOW IS THE DHH PROGRAM REPRESENTED?

There are members representing each of the support programs in our Support Programming subcommittee, including members from the D/HH community looking at needs of the program. The D/HH program is currently a part of the East Hills community, and will continue to grow with the addition of 4th grade.

ARE 4TH GRADERS SEPARATED?

There is a designated elementary wing housing our 4th and 5th grade classrooms. The wing is defined by doors at each end of the hall. Middle school students travel through other halls in the building.

ARE 4TH GRADERS ON BUSSES WITH OLDER STUDENTS?

Currently K-4 and 5-8 ride the bus together. Lunch time is designated by grade level.


HOW ARE 4TH AND 5TH GRADERS SUPPORTED?

Through the transition process, we have identified unique areas in the building that support opportunities for 4th and 5th grade to collaborate as an upper elementary community. Along with an emphasis on the elementary spaces, there are intentional experiences for students and staff to come together as a larger 4-8 school. The current East Hills Twitter handle is linked and can be found on the bottom right of the East Hills webpage. The East Hills Twitter feed is a great place to check out upper elementary events, curriculum experiences, and field trips that occur at East Hills. There are also a number of club experiences that are currently open to 5th grade students and are catered to the interests of upper elementary students. As we move forward, our Community Building subcommittee is developing new opportunities for 4th and 5th grade students in collaboration with PTO, staff, and Parks and Recreation.

HOW DID SPECIALS TEACHERS PREPARE FOR 4TH GRADERS?

There is a common elementary specials schedule that is used across the school district K-5. Generally speaking, our upper elementary specials teachers are shared staff at elementary buildings including Eastover. All East Hills staff that work with elementary students are required by law to be certified to teach elementary-aged students.

Can you tell me about 4th and 5th grade sports adjustments?

For the most part, 4th and 5th grade sport opportunities remain the same.