During their meeting Monday, the USD 490 Board of Education heard an update on the new Skelly Elementary School now that the school year is underway.
“What a school,” said Principal Stan Ruff. “It’s unbelievable. There is so much room; it’s so bright; it’s sunny; and we’re enjoying it.”
They are still getting the bugs worked out, something they expected moving in the week before school started.
“Kids are starting to get into routines,” Ruff said.
In all, there are 394 students in pre-K to fifth grade. They also have 34 new teachers and 80 total staff.
Ruff said he has two goals.
One is to develop morning breakfast, recess and lunchroom procedures for the building. A committee is working on this.
“We come up with what we want them to do, then we have to give them a week or so to get into a routine,” he said. “It will probably be up until Christmas to get all the procedures going.”
His second goal is to develop a parent lunch and learn event each quarter for parents to hear a variety of topics, such as about social skills, healthy living, reading and technology.
In other business, the board:
• looked at signage options for the new middle school. Dave Stewart, with PKHLS Architects, provided the board members with different types of wording to identify the building as the middle school from Highway 77. The board decided to have it say El Dorado Middle School rather than EMS, and asked about lighting for that sign, which would be visible from the highway. The work on the middle school is right on schedule.
• heard the results of a back to school survey that was taken during back to school night asking three questions. The first question was what one topic parents want to know more about and number one at every school was to know about their child’s progress and to have frequent reports. Five out of six schools was events and activities, with some more specific items for different age levels. The second question was the best way to get that information to parents, which was unanimous for all schools to be by e-mail. The third question was what one topic they would like to have the district not talk about as much. Four out of six schools said not to talk about fundraising and half of the schools said state tests.
• approved deed of sale for the Washington school building. It includes restrictions and obligations for the buyer for use of the building.