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There's still time to weigh in on whether or not Valley Crossing builds walls

Walls have not been built at Valley Crossing Elementary, where responsive classroom model thrives under the building's current construction.

Seven hundred forty-two students began a smooth transition at the newly purchased District 833 school—without acquiescing to some parents' requests for their kids to attend a traditional structure, said assistant superintendent Julie Nielsen, who learned the new school song and even sang a few bars for the South Washington County School Board on Sept. 1.

The last three to five months of work at the school focused on a transition for the Gateway program for highly gifted students, Nielsen said.

A new timeline has been set for a decision about adding walls at Valley Crossing so that "if walls are what we're going to invest in, (we are) making sure it's what we want," Nielsen said. "Do we want to just build walls everywhere in the school?"

A decision is scheduled for December.

Before construction is approved, administrators plan to have conversations with school staff about how the space is working. A steering committee will reconvene, and a parent meeting will focus on the physical space at Valley Crossing.

If the steering committee and school board agree on a final plan in December, the construction contract could be awarded in April 2017.

Also in December, Nielsen said the district will be "working with all existing Valley Crossing families and those that will be part of the attendance boundary transition to determine if they would like their students to be part of the single-grade option or multi-age option," both of which will be available. Staffing will be assigned based upon the sign-ups.

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