This month, I’m thrilled to tell you about our students’ excellent progress as well as what we’re doing to address our space needs. I’ll also introduce you to our new high school principal.
Modular Classrooms – Our Short-Term Solution: Work is continuing behind the scenes at the manufacturer on the modular classrooms that will be installed at Crosby Elementary and Harrison Junior schools. Production of the units will begin once the designs are finalized. It’s a complex project for the district because there are so many details for us to address ahead of time, including where the classrooms will be located and changes in arrival-dismissal patterns. Once we approve the designs, we’ll solicit bids for public utility work so we’re prepared for installation as soon as school is out. Installation will take place during the break to avoid disruptions and distractions at the schools. Our goal is to have the modular classrooms – a short-term solution to our space needs -- ready before students arrive in the fall.
Enrollment Continues to Soar: As we address enrollment growth, the need for even more space continues to grow. Since July, the district has enrolled 386 students. To put that into perspective, we will graduate 260 students in May. That means, we’ve grown by more than an entire graduating class in the last eight months.
Master Facilities Planning – Our Long-Term Solution: Hundreds of people have been involved in the master planning process since we launched our new approach to dealing with inadequate facilities three months ago. It’s reassuring to know that so many people are so committed to planning our district’s future, even those who offer contrasting opinions. They have attended our three Town Hall meetings, responded to our facilities phone survey and participated on our community engagement teams. Some provided dozens of hours of their time. Lots of information can be found on our website about our facilities planning and community engagement process: www.southwestschools.org/facilities.
Southwest Podcast: Introducing Our New High School Principal – This month, we’re featuring an interview with Matthew Lindley, who will become principal of Harrison High School next school year. He’s had great success building relationships with students, teachers and the community during his career in education. He says on our podcast that those relationships are keys to achieving the goals of the high school and district. You can listen to the podcast, which also provides updates on facilities planning and the busy spring calendar, here:http://static.theflypod.com/episodes/southwest-local-schools-2/
As always, please let me know if you have comments or questions.
John C. Hamstra
Southwest Local Schools