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District gauges interest in elementary academy


The Estacada School District is in the early stages of developing a curriculum for an “Estacada Elementary Academy.”

According to the district’s website, the academy would be housed at River Mill Elementary and would provide “customized learning” for kindergarten through fifth-grade students.

The site notes that the district is “gauging interest” and that the “launch of the program is dependent on adequate enrollment.”

School Board Chairman Mark Greene said the board calculates that the program will need 15 students who are not currently enrolled in the Estacada School District to sign up for there to be enough funds to hire a teacher.

He said the board is in the process of creating a waiting list.

Greene estimates there are now eight or nine students on the list, and half of them are from outside the district.

Greene said while the curriculum is still being developed, he hopes it will focus on teaching students a foreign language.

That language most likely will be Spanish, because of the software officials are considering for the program.

Greene said the program will blend online instruction with in-person teaching.

“The whole program is aimed at looking at choices that aren’t available in our current system,” he said. “You’re trying to capture and bring choice to a cross section of people that would want that.”

Greene said Dan Draper would lead the program. Draper was hesitant to offer any details about the curriculum yet.

“We are still refining the details of this program. Hence, it is a bit premature to offer any definitive statements,” he said. “We are currently gauging interest and looking to capitalize on our strong partnership with Estacada Charters to bring innovative options to our students.”

For more information, click on the “Estacada Elementary Academy” link at esd108.org.