SALISBURY, Md.- In order to reduce class size, all students in the intermediate Magnet Program for high performing learners from Wicomico County Public Schools will be served at North Salisbury Elementary School starting with the 2014-2015 school year.
According to public school officials, Wicomico County’s Magnet Program is designed to meet the needs of elementary students in grades 3 through 5 who are identified through specific criteria as high achievers. This group of students requires teaching strategies that focus more on the higher levels of cognitive learning processes in order to enhance students’ critical thinking skills and challenge them to perform at a level appropriate with their innate ability.
The consolidation of the Magnet Program to one school, North Salisbury Elementary, will strengthen this program for high performing learners, officials said. They said this will allow for enhanced delivery of instruction, improved collaboration among all Magnet teachers and grade-level Magnet teams and increased efficient and effective use of classroom space at both Pemberton Elementary and North Salisbury Elementary.
Magnet teachers will be able to collaborate with a larger group of teachers both within and across grade levels and work with a greater number of students on day-to-day assignments and special projects, officials said.
“Pemberton is looking forward to having four additional classrooms to better balance class sizes for its growing prek-grade 5 population, and North Salisbury is excited to have a greater number of Magnet students and teachers,” noted Dr. Margo Handy, assistant superintendent for instruction and student services. “It will be a stronger, unified program with more effective delivery of instruction and more consistency in sizing of classes.”
All of the current Pemberton Magnet teachers except one will be transferred to North Salisbury to continue working with students in the Magnet Program next year. One Magnet teacher has requested to remain at Pemberton, officials noted.
This year, Pemberton has only one grade 3 class with 23 students, and North Salisbury has three Grade 3 classes with 56 students. For next year, it is projected that these students would move into four grade 4 classes of approximately 20 students each.
The school day for North Salisbury Elementary Magnet students is the same as it is for the Pemberton Elementary Magnet Program. Students may enter the building starting at 7:45 a.m., and the school day begins at 8:15 a.m. Magnet Program dismissal is at 2:15 p.m.
All special permission requests to transfer schools, including ones connected to the Magnet Program, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Special permission must be approved by the building principal, who takes into account class sizes and building capacity.
Parents/guardians may inform North Salisbury Elementary Principal Ruby Brown if their student will not be continuing in the Magnet Program, and she will ensure that the student’s records are forwarded to the student’s home school.
To give Pemberton Magnet parents and students a chance to tour North Salisbury Elementary and its Magnet Program, tours are planned for June 9 and 10, while school is still in session. A field trip for Pemberton third grade and fourth grade students and their teachers is scheduled for Monday, June 9 from 9:15-10:45 a.m.
Parent/guardian tours of North Salisbury are scheduled for Monday, June 9 from 9-9:30 a.m. or 9:45-10:15 a.m., and for Tuesday, June 10 from 1-1:30 p.m. or 1:45-2:15 p.m. Teachers will be available to answer questions for parents/guardians.
North Salisbury Elementary will also hold a Magnet Program parent information meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, June 16. This meeting is primarily for parents/guardians of current second graders who receive notice on June 13 that the student is eligible to enroll in Magnet for grade 3.