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January 2020 Update

Capital Project Update from Dr. Shelmidine:

"Thank you, thank you, thank you! Our proposed capital project has been approved and the paperwork has been sent to Albany. Now begins perhaps the hardest part of the project; the waiting. As a reminder, the approved project includes a new playground, ADA-compliant bleachers and interior work that will allow us to limit access to different parts of the buildings during evening events or in the event of a lock-out scenario. The project also includes a new marquis that will allow us to communicate with the community dates, announcements and student/staff celebratory news on an immediate basis. During this wait, plans are proposed, projects designed and the excitement builds.

As we started talking about the project, much of the excitement has been centered around our playground. Given that it has been more than a couple of years since most of us have played on a playground, I decided to ask the experts. I met with every elementary class to gain insight into our students’ thinking/ideas regarding a new playground. They did not disappoint. The students identified the swings, slides, tunnels and paved areas as their favorite part of our current playground. Almost every class suggested zip lines, different types of swings and slides, poles, spinning and bouncing elements. Students (and our facility staff) were excited to hear that the wood chips would be history, replaced by a rubberized cushion not unlike what is found on a track. They were equally excited to brainstorm other suggestions, like a place to read or sit with friends.

The most revealing about the character of our students were the number of older students who outlined a need for no sharp edges or trip hazards on the new playground to protect our youngest students. Other considerations voiced by our students were the need for more space, more color (especially orange and blue) and playground elements that all students regardless of age could enjoy.

Of all of the suggestions from our experts, my favorite is from one of our third graders who thought that since the students were giving me ideas for the playground, the playground should be dedicated to our students.

So, for our students – a safe, colorful playground that captures the imagination of all of our students – thank you!"

dr s