Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cedarbrook Will Receive Temporary Classroom

A Plainfield Board of Education request to relocate a temporary classroom from Maxson Middle School to Cedarbrook Elementary School received Planning Board approval Thursday, marking a district shift aimed at competing with charter schools and other choices for young adolescent students.

Cedarbrook was among the first schools identified by new Schools Superintendent Steve Gallon III for the shift to a K-8 format. Click here for a Plaintalker Q&A with Gallon on the plan. The movement started with introduction this year of a sixth grade in the formerly K-5 school. Ultimately, Gallon wants all elementary schools to have the K-8 configuration.

Starting in the 2008-09 school year, Cedarbrook had a 99 percent retention rate of students who wanted to stay in the elementary school, Schools Business Administrator Gary Ottmann told the Planning Board. The resultant decrease in the middle school population caused the need to relocate the temporary classroom.

Planning Board member Ron Scott-Bey raised concerns about student exposure to the elements on proposed walkways from the temporary classroom to the main building, but was assured that the students would have less movement in the new plan than if they were in middle school. The walkways will have a roof structure that can withstand snow buildup, and will have vinyl sidewalls to adhere to a Fire Division prohibition on canvas construction that can quickly catch fire, presenters said.

Asked when the temporary structure would be replaced by a permanent upgrade, Ottmann said that will occur when the Schools Development Authority funds a replacement. The district will pay from general funds the approximate $400,000 needed to relocate the temporary classroom, he said.

In light of the ongoing shift of students from middle schools, Planning Board attorney Michele Donato said the district should revisit its long range plan for schools. Ottmann said the state Department of Education requires the district to submit a revised long range plan in 2010.

--Bernice Paglia


Post a Comment

<< Home