Thursday, August 28, 2014

Newbury to Close Part of Elementary Building in Fall
April 10, 2014 by Ann Wishart | No Comments

Part of Newbury Elementary School will be closed in 2014-2015 and students in grades four and five will be moved to the wing of the building currently used for kindergarten through third grade following a decision at the Newbury Schools Board of Education meeting Monday.

Part of Newbury Elementary School will be closed in 2014-2015 and students in grades four and five will be moved to the wing of the building currently used for kindergarten through third grade following a decision at the Newbury Schools Board of Education meeting Monday.

Sixth-graders will become part of the junior high program at the high school, Superintendent Richard Wagner said.

The change will include a half-hour increase in instructional time. The younger students walk to the high school for art, physical education and music and it takes time, especially in inclement weather, for them to take off and put on coats and boots, he said.

High school Principal Michelle Mrakovich and elementary school Principal Craig Caroff will have office space at the high school, Wagner said, adding that having two administrators in the high school will be an advantage.

The space not used for the classes in the elementary school will be closed off and used for storage while the district seeks tenants to help bring in revenue, he said. Meanwhile, the district will save a little on heating and electricity bills.

“Although it is a lovely building, it is not conducive to instruction due to the interior walls,” Wagner said. “It was not an easy decision.”

Wagner said Tuesday the elementary school was built in the 1970s with an open classroom concept, so the noise level is distracting.

Also, because of a lack of interior walls, the building is not structurally strong enough to withstand a tornado, so if there is danger of tornadoes, the students have to go to the high school, he said.

Wagner said there will be information going out to parents regarding busing and other details involved in moving the children.

The board also voted to revise the school calendar, adding June 5, 6, 9 and 10 to the end of the student school year to make up for the 10 calamity days used during the severe winter.

June 11 will be a teacher in-service day. The state requires the days be made up, Wagner said. He added the state legislature took 11 calamity days off through the bad weather and there isn’t any indication they will be making those up.

The board also approved a change in the April 21 board work session to include a public forum on the 8-mill emergency levy they will place on the ballot in May. The forum will be at 6 p.m. at the Newbury auditorium.

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