Purdy schools see adjustments with new schedule, building improvements

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Late additions expected to polish construction edges

School opened with a few wrinkles at the Purdy School District.

Superintendent Steven Chancellor said the first late-start Mondays and changing the lunch schedule offered the two biggest changes.

The school day now starts at 8:15 a.m., 15 minutes earlier, and lets out at 3:15 p.m., five minutes later than before. Classes start at 9:10 a.m. Buses run and breakfast is served at the same time. Counselor Jamie Temple has been placed in charge of activities to keep students busy during that unscheduled time. High school students have the option to stay home longer.

"More older kids than expected came early," Chancellor said. "I think they're afraid not to show up."

The late start provides faculty time at the beginning of the week for professional development. Chancellor said they would next begin to focus on building improvement plans.

Not only did lunch traffic slow better in the expanded cafeteria, the room was also quieter. Additional furniture was still due to arrive.

Principal Janet Boys received praise for taking on the additional duties as elementary principal, combined with her duties as middle school principal.

"Janet has been everywhere," Chancellor said.

Floor work wrapped up a week after school started. Some of the tile in the cafeteria did not match, but would come close after waxing. Counters in the new bathrooms had to be lowered from the contractor's original projection. A cover over the sink pipes was still planned.

The school library now has shelving. The facility with furniture had more room than expected, school board members said, but still needed books put back in place. Metal decorative panels for the exterior of the new gym entrance and the inside wall should arrive later this month, Chancellor said.

Glen Garrett, former school board president, thanked board members for "correcting his mistakes" in the latest building renovations. Garrett and his son and grandson, Rick and Tyler Scott, have actively worked to clean up the grounds behind the school, which construction crews had to access to install the new restrooms across from the cafeteria, and use cranes to place new heating and cooling units on the room. Garrett's team filled in holes and hauled off tree stumps. Vaughn's Construction hauled off the excess concrete, for which First State Bank would pick up the bill, Garrett said.

Board members thanked Garrett for his efforts and gave him permission to continue. Garrett indicated he planned to plow the remainder of the yard and sew it with grass. While the new bathrooms are better, board member Mike Bennett said the old ones were "Exactly what we needed in 1975."

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