Meeker Elementary: The move is on

MEEKER I More than 10 days after the Meeker Board of Education directed superintendent Susan Goettel to remove students from the new elementary school because of safety concerns and take steps to provide for their education, including modifying the school calendar, plans were adopted to do both, even though they have yet to receive the design plan and timeline for repairs from The Neenan Company.“The move is on,” Goettel said after an executive session during the regular board meeting Tuesday last, before showing board members how classrooms in all the school buildings will be used.The administration office will move into the basement of St. James’ Elbert Hall, so the preschool, kindergarten and first-graders can move into the administration building. Second-, third- and fourth-graders will take over what is known as the “freshman flight” at the Meeker High School and the fifth-graders will move into Barone Middle School.According to Goettel the district will hire a moving company from Steamboat Springs to make the moves but it has not been determined whether the school district or The Neenan Company will pay for the expense.Goettel said steps will be taken to keep the elementary students separated from high school and middle school students. Elementary students riding the bus will be dropped off at the north entrance of the high school and schedules will be adjusted so they are not in the hallways during passing times.The phone numbers and extensions will remain the same for all schools. Elementary school principal Jason Hightower said, “I will be in all three buildings everyday.”The state requires secondary students have 1080 instructional hours per year and the Meeker school district always schedule more hours than the state minimum and this year high school students are scheduled for 1081 instructional hours. So while the school calendar was modified, the only date changed was the first day of school from Aug. 23 to Sept. 6. All vacation days (24) will remain the same, students will go to school nine days less, with elementary students receiving 26 less instructional hours than originally scheduled, middle school students will lose 56 instructional hours and high school students will be in the classroom 59 hours less with the modification. The last day of school will still be May 25, 2011, and graduation will be the following day, as originally scheduled.