BEATRICE – Cedar Elementary School will transition to a single-site preschool, with K-through-5 students moving to other elementary buildings within the Beatrice Public Schools. By a vote of 6-0, the District 15 Board approved that plan Monday night. It includes constructing an addition at Paddock Lane Elementary of six classrooms…four to replace portable structures and two for extra space.
Board member Steve Winter urged the addition be moved up if possible, for completion this summer.
:31 “it done earlier”
Modifications will be made to Cedar Elementary to transform it into the district’s preschool site. The board acted on a recommendation by Superintendent Pat Nauroth, modifying the plan somewhat to provide more flexibility between six or seven class sections, per grade.
The amendment involved setting a target figure of 130 students for kindergarten and first grades, below which there would be the option to have six, instead of seven sections. For second through fifth grades, the target figure would be 140 students. The initial proposal for the upper elementary grades placed the figure at 150, something Board Member Doris Martin said was too high.
:27 “grade level”
District 15 has been facing a trend toward smaller kindergarten classes, while graduating classes have been larger. This past fall, voters rejected for a second time, a plan to building a single-site pre-K through 5th grade facility. Superintendent Nauroth said building principals recommended that any changes be simultaneous, not phased in.
Nauroth says the changes at Paddock Lane would provide three sections for kindergarten and first grades….two-and-a-half sections for grades two through five.
:41 “Stoddard elementary”
A group of parents of Cedar Elementary School attended last night’s board meeting. One of them, Jason Moore, wondered why the district did not choose the addition at Paddock Lane, as the preschool location.
:16 “the preschool”
Moore said there is pride in having Cedar Elementary and he said the district was taking something away from the west part of the community.
:10 “not chess pieces”
Board President Lisa Pieper said after the meeting that the nine sections that would be needed for preschool at Paddock Lane was not workable. She also said the district had looked at constructing a new facility for preschool on property owned by the district, but it was not financially feasible.
Nauroth said the plan approved by the board will mean a single-site for preschool, provide flexibility for growth in the future, and use resources more efficiently. The transition will happen this coming fall.