Eastwood teachers make new school pitch
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:48
PEMBERVILLE - Eastwood elementary teachers made their case Monday for a new K-5 school.
Leslie Oestreich, a third-grade teacher at Pemberville Elementary; Marnie Hartman, a third-grade teacher at Luckey Elementary; and Amy Schaffner, fourth-grade teacher at Luckey, presented to school board members and a sparse audience.
Their goal is for Eastwood to step into the 21st century with a new school to replace two aging structures. The Luckey school was built in 1926, while the Pemberville building dates back to 1936.
Teachers visited new elementaries in Bellevue in Sandusky County and Indian Lake in Logan County. Both are Ohio School Facilities Commission-funded buildings.
Eastwood plans to use OSFC funds, along with tax abatement monies from the new Home Depot distribution center, to construct a new school.
The state would cover 37 percent of the estimated $18 million cost of a new school, according to numbers previously released by the district.
The district is considering a ballot measure in November to consolidate elementary students in one building on the main campus on Sugar Ridge Road.
All three teachers were impressed with the classroom size, dedicated intervention space, bathrooms and safety components of the new schools.
The two site visits were suggested by Fanning & Howey, which was given a contract Monday for architect services for a new bus garage.
A new school would maximize instruction time by eliminating the 30 minutes some students lose daily by being shuttled between Luckey and Pemberville; place intervention staff in one location; and provide centralized restrooms.
Intervention in the two schools is held in the teachers' lounge, hallways and stairwells, and even in the staff restroom at Pemberville.
A new school would provide larger classrooms - 810 square feet to the 660 at Luckey, for instance - and quiet hallways.
It also would provide separate art rooms and a gym, music room, library and computer lab.
Also important is the ability for grade-level teachers to collaborate on content and strategies to improve student learning; making the building ADA compliant; and making the entrance more secure.
Mike Godfrey, who is a special education teacher for the elementaries and also a marine science teacher at the high school, also went to visit both new schools.
"I was so proud of my community," said Godfrey, who attended Bellevue schools.
But he said he was "embarrassed to say I teach in an Eastwood building."
In the 25 years he's been at Eastwood, he has never seen students at Luckey and Pemberville get the same amount of instruction time in math, for instance. He said Luckey students get 90 more minutes in math each week because of scheduling.
"Kids will have the same amount of instruction time" in a new school, he said.
Godfrey added that he's "foaming at the mouth thinking of the environment our kids can have."
The proposed new building is for K-5 classes rather than K-4, on a recommendation from the district's facilities committee, explained Superintendent Brent Welker.
Taking the fifth grades out of the middle school frees up space to house some of the county's special needs units, he said.
Board member Roger Bostdorff said after the meeting he wished there were as many people in attendance as the March board meeting when opposition to a new school was made.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:55