Projections show that the Springs School may be short of classrooms in the new year, announced Principal Eric Casale in a presentation at the December 14 Board of Education meeting.
He spoke of the ongoing critical situation the district is facing in terms of increasing enrollment and a lack of space to hold the school’s growing population of students, which prompted the Board of Education to develop plans for renovations and expansions. Although the request for proposal process has already begun, he indicated that a more immediate answer was necessary.
“We’ve been struggling this year,” he told the board. “As enrollment increases it becomes more and more difficult. We’re going to have an issue going into September.”
According to Mr. Casale’s data, the K-8 population went from 699 students in the 2013-2014 school year to 726 in the 2015-2016 school year. Just this week the district gained seven new students, he said.
When School Board Vice President Timothy Frazier inquired as to what solution has worked in the past, Mr. Casale said they have made painstaking efforts to rearrange classrooms and to custom create each student’s schedule. Even so, he made it clear that no further manipulation of space would create the classrooms that are needed in the Springs School building.
However, one idea introduced at the meeting was the possibility of relocating a grade level to Most Holy Trinity Parish, which currently hosts the district’s pre-K program.
“We’ve tried to avoid that over the past couple of years by finding every nook and cranny we possibly can,” Superintendent John Finello noted.
He said that Most Holy Trinity might provide a few additional classrooms, but addressed the fact that sending additional grades there would create issues with transportation and proximity to the school nurse.
Whichever direction is chosen, Mr. Casale said they would have to “think outside the box.”