Transfer of 6th graders to EHS may be delayed

Students at Sugar Grove Elementary School and Russell Elementary School who are looking forward to moving to Eisenhower for sixth grade next fall will likely have to wait another year.

At its meeting Monday evening, the Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee of the school district’s board of directors forwarded a request to the full board for action at its April 8 meeting that, if approved, would hold students who will be in the sixth grade in the 2013-2014 academic year at their respective elementary schools for an additional year.

Acting Superintendent Amy Stewart said there is adequate space to keep those students at the elementary schools. She explained that this model returns the elementary schools to their status before the entire middle level in the northern attendance area was moved to be housed together at Eisenhower.

Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Gary Weber said that the board will be presented with a resolution that will keep the students back at the elementary schools for one year due to construction, similar to sixth grade in the central attendance area that was held for an additional year at Warren Area Elementary Center while construction has been underway at Beaty-Warren Middle School.

Weber explained that the move will allow for “flexibility to keep them where they currently are.” He said the approach would be “not disruptive to those students.”

Stewart reiterated that no students will be moved from one elementary school to the other.

Demolition has started throughout Eisenhower Middle High School, according to WCSD Director of Buildings and Grounds Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht. He explained that building permits have been obtained for both the renovation and addition at Eisenhower.

Board member Tom Knapp asked when the window replacement would begin at Eisenhower and Kennerknecht said that component of the project would be held until “after the students have gone for the summer.”

Kennerknecht also explained that the occupancy permits for portable classrooms at Eisenhower have been approved and he said the classrooms formed in the auditorium were approved by an inspector.

In other building project news, Kennerknecht said the state Department of Environmental Protection’s approvals have been received for the Sheffield Middle High School expansion project. He said that contractors are preparing bids in advance of an April 10 bid date.