Overcrowded PC school may add modular units

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 Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick

Plain City Elementary’s student population has grown.

Modular classrooms may be needed at Plain City Elementary this year as enrollment figures at the elementary level continue to climb in the Jonathan Alder Local School District.

At the Aug. 11 school board meeting, Superintendent Doug Carpenter said the unexpected increase has already prompted the addition of two new classrooms, one at the fourth-grade level and one at the first-grade level.

Kelly Hicks, principal at Plain City Elementary, has been working with the Crusade Bible Church, located behind the school, on the possibility of housing the preschool program in the church. Carpenter said modular classrooms might be a better way to go, however.

Hicks said adding two modular units to the building’s grounds would provide space for the preschool program and for reading instruction. The board approved the employment of Alexis Greulich as a class size reduction teacher at Plain City Elementary. Hicks said Greulich will  teach reading at all grade levels throughout the school day.

Carpenter said no decision on bringing in modular classrooms has been made but that Hicks will continue to monitor the advisability of using the modulars for the 2008-2009 school year.

Carpenter said he is not a fan of modular classrooms but feels they may be the best way to go while the district works with architects on the second phase of an extensive building program. The second phase addresses the need for a larger building to house Plain City Elementary students as well as renovations and/or new buildings for the junior high and grades five through eight.

Representatives from the architectural firm Steed, Hammond and Paul addressed the board about building options. Carpenter said the district’s facility committee will weigh all options over the next few weeks to see which make the best use of taxpayer funds.

In other business, three senior female students addressed the board regarding what they feel are unjust decisions made by the high school’s girls’ volleyball coaching staff. The girls said they have been members of the volleyball teams all through junior high and high school and were cut from the team for their senior year.

Carpenter thanked the students for bringing their concerns to the board but said the board could not resolve the matter at a public meeting. He asked that the students and their parents meet with the coaching staff and school administrators at a later date to discuss the matter.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 in the board’s meeting room at Jonathan Alder High School.

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