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Rhonda Trimble

Rhonda Trimble, about 9 hours ago

On Thursday, August 29th an open public meeting is to be held presenting an option for what could be the new Onaga Elementary School. All patrons of the Onaga USD 322 school system, are encouraged to attend the meeting to view the current conditions of the school and provide input for the possible future grade school. Over the past year and a half, the Onaga Grade School Building Committee has been exploring the idea of replacing the current grade school. The main reason for this is the significant deterioration of the foundation and the resulting structural problems. The current building was constructed with the heating duct work built into the concrete foundation. Over time, cracks in the concrete have allowed air to escape the duct work and dry out the soil causing the foundation to settle and fracture. Mud jacking has been done in the past to correct the problem, but provided only marginal improvement. The current damage is extensive enough to prohibit repair. Visible signs of the failing foundation can be seen as cracks throughout the hallways and classrooms. Additionally, many doors and windows no longer function correctly, and a few walls are dislodging from the building due to the foundation moving. Simply put, the elementary school is coming to the end of its useful life. In addition to the structural concerns of the building, there are numerous educational issues that need to be addressed. Among these are poor instructional environments, a need for additional classrooms and work space, technology limitations, and student safety. ​One of the most common complaints of teachers is how uncomfortable the classrooms are. Drafty windows and doors and poor insulation make it difficult to regulate the temperature in the classrooms. This is a symptom of the failing structure mentioned earlier. Teachers often rely on space heaters in the winter to provide additional heat, and window air conditioning units in warmer months to keep rooms comfortable. Restroom plumbing and ventilation are also nuisances that the staff and students sometimes deal with. ​The size and number of classrooms are also a concern. Modern classrooms are often designed with more space to allow for group activities. The increased use of technology and audio-visual platforms has also exacerbated the need for more space in the classroom. In addition to larger individual classrooms, an increase in enrollment has warranted the need for more classrooms. Pre-K, kindergarten, first, second, and fifth grades are all currently divided into two classes. This classroom situation leaves little room for future enrollment increases. In addition to the classrooms, there is a need for designated space for individual student engagement, conferences, meetings, and storage. ​The need for technology in the classroom continues to outpace current conditions. Just as technology has become more prevalent in our daily lives, so too has it become in education. The use of the internet for communication and as a teaching tool are everyday activities for teachers and students. As technology in the classroom advances, pressure to upgrade electrical and data infrastructure will continue. The current Wi-Fi internet connections are often overloaded, and a lack of electrical receptacles makes the use of power cords commonplace. ​Student safety is another reality of today's education that the current grade school is unable to adequately address. Secure points of entry and safe rooms are design requirements of modern school construction that were not present when the current school was built. A secure educational environment is to be expected for our students and staff. Additionally, keeping up with current building codes is problematic of a school built in the 1950s. ​As the Onaga Grade School Building Committee continues to evaluate the possibility of a new elementary school, great consideration is being given to all aspects of the project. Not only are structural issues being analyzed, but educational concerns are being looked at as well. Please plan to attend the open public meeting on Thursday, August 29th.

Karen Utley

Karen Utley, 1 day ago

School Picture Day is 2 weeks from today! August 30th! view image

Thelma Linck

Thelma Linck, 1 day ago

Please remember to send enrollment forms for 21st Century Learning Centers after school program or Buffalo Fun Club to school. Those returning forms are eligible for a drawing. We start August 26. view image

Rhonda Trimble

Rhonda Trimble, 2 days ago

2019-2020 District Calendars: We have a reduced number of large calendars available this year. Therefore, one calendar will be sent home to each family with their oldest child in school. The remaining calendars will be available to pick up at either the bank or the school office. Smaller pocket calendars are also available at the bank. Thank you to Farmers State Bank for sponsoring the calendars and Harder Printing for printing the calendars!