Walnut Hills 5th Graders to Move to Vince Meyer Learning Center for 2015-16 School Year
The Waukee Board of Education assigned Walnut Hills fifth graders to the Vince Meyer Learning Center for the 2015-16 school year at the February 9 board meeting. Currently, fifth graders from Waukee Elementary School attend the building that was renovated and reopened in 2013. Waukee Elementary fifth graders will return to their attendance center for the 2015-16 school year.
Walnut Hills is currently serving 850 students in grades preschool through five and has simply run out of room for the 2015-16 school year. Enrollment projections show the need to add three more sections to Walnut Hills; however, the building does not have the classrooms to accommodate the growth.
After weighing many options including, increased class size, the addition of portables and re-assigning open-enrolled students, the Board of Education unanimously voted to temporarily move Walnut Hills fifth graders to Vince Meyer Learning Center, which is located in downtown Waukee, for the 2015-16 school year.
Waukee Community School District is the fastest growing districts in the state of Iowa. Each year the district welcomes more than 400 new students with the majority of those students being at the elementary level. Waukee Community School District’s Board of Education has done a wonderful job of staying ahead of that growth by allocating funds for new school buildings to accommodate all students. Grant Ragan, the district’s eighth elementary building, is currently being built to help relieve some of the capacity issues at the elementary level. The Grant Ragan construction project is scheduled for a completion date of June 2016.
Walnut Hills will be hosting a meeting for fifth grade parents at Vince Meyer this spring. Parents will have the opportunity to tour and learn more about the building and its history.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the plans for busing and transportation?
- Eric Rose, Waukee School District’s Chief Operating Officer, and Lyndsay Marron, Walnut Hills Principal, will be working with Durham School Services to develop a transportation plan, knowing that limited amount of time on the bus and maximizing the learning day is of high importance to everyone. This plan may include a shuttle system from Walnut Hills to Vince Meyer Learning Center or a combination of a few transportation systems.
- What about before and after school care (Beyond the Bell)?
- Walnut Hills fifth graders attending Vince Meyer Learning Center will still have access to Beyond the Bell services. Parents will continue to be able to drop off their student before school at Walnut Hills, knowing that their fifth grade student will board the shuttle bus, which will take students to Vince Meyer. At the end of the school day, the shuttle will take students back to Walnut Hills for Beyond the Bell.
- How will the fifth graders still feel connected to Walnut Hills when they are at Vince Meyer Learning Center?
- Walnut Hills fifth graders will be the only students at Vince Meyer. The current fifth grade teachers at Walnut Hills will move to Vince Meyer to serve the students there as will our current related arts staff. Lyndsay Marron will continue to be the principal of both buildings. For special occasions such as all-school assemblies and special guest presenters, fifth graders will be bused from Vince Meyer to Walnut Hills to enjoy the celebration.
- What will specials look like at Vince Meyer?
- The related arts staff from Walnut Hills will be traveling to Vince Meyer for music, art, P.E., computers, etc. The only class that will not travel to Vince Meyer is library. That does not mean, however, that Vince Meyer students will not have access to the Walnut Hills library or all of its resources. In fact, students at Vince Meyer may have the opportunity to access both Walnut Hills’ library and the Waukee Elementary library. In situations where the fifth grade classes would like to go to the library to do research, they will have the opportunity to travel a shorter distance to Waukee Elementary for their library resources.
- What about leadership opportunities for fifth graders?
- We are committed to creating leadership habits in all students and are continuously looking for leadership opportunities for Walnut Hills students in all grades. Opportunities such as Student Council and morning announcements will still be made available to fifth graders.
- Will the fifth graders still have an opportunity to participate in clubs such as Chess Club and Girls Science Club?
- Yes! Walnut Hills PTO has graciously voted to fund the purchase of 25 chess boards for a Chess Club that one of our students would like to see continued at Walnut Hills. Because this club meets before school, we can either have all students meet at Walnut Hills to play chess or send some of the boards over to Vince Meyer so fifth graders can meet to play chess. It will be left to the student facilitating the club, as well as the teacher supervisors, to decide which will be best for all students.
- What will be the class size?
- Class size at Vince Meyer will be approximately 24-25 students.
- What will Vince Meyer’s start and end time be?
- The school day at Vince Meyer will start and end at approximately the same time as Walnut Hills (8:35-3:40); however, there may be slight adjustments due to transportation.
About Vince Meyer Learning Center
The Board approved the schematic design and improvements to the 1917 facility, now named Vince Meyer Learning Center, at the September 10, 2012 Board of Education meeting. These improvements included new windows (respecting the architectural integrity of the existing building), an elevator, new lockers, and some minor HVAC adjustments. The district updated the HVAC, fire sprinkler and electrical systems in the Vince Meyer Learning Center in 1998. Additionally, the plan preserved the existing gymnasium and band room and provided a newly constructed entrance to the facility.
The district chose the name in recognition of Vince Meyer’s decades of service and commitment to the Waukee community and students. One of Meyer’s most important contributions was his service to the United States. He was a commissioned officer who reached the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Air Force and was a veteran of World War II. Meyer was awarded the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his work as a bombardier on a B-17. The reopening of this building has provided additional space for students in the district.