Modular update letter from Mrs. Leonard: also posted below
Dear Barrows Community,
I hope that you are enjoying your summer. It is hard to believe that the end of this week is already August! Our custodians, Bill and Dan are working hard to get our school ready for opening day. As you have recently heard in a letter from the superintendent, the modular classrooms for the three elementary schools will not be “move-in” ready by the start of the school year. We, of course, are disappointed in this setback but are in the process of making alternative arrangements within the school to address this space shortage.
After exploring and discussing all of the options, we feel that locating these two classrooms in the gymnasium will be the best option to creating an alternate learning environment for our Kindergarten students. Although it is not ideal, for this short period of time our Kindergarten students will be located together in the building and will have a consistent working space with the least disruption to other grades/classes as possible. It will be set up to the best of our abilities using classroom furniture and temporary dividers for separation.
I have had conversations with Mrs. Forestell, and Mrs. Granoth, (our two Kindergarten teachers who will be located in the modulars) and Mrs. Atwood our PE teacher, regarding this temporary disruption to their routine. They are flexible, highly skilled educators that have already begun to strategize to make this situation work in the best possible way for their students. During this time, all PE classes will be held outside on the field. In the event of inclement weather, PE classes will take place in the cafeteria, stage, and/or in classrooms.
Once the modulars are completed, we will be moving the teaching materials and the classrooms. A dedicated time will be provided to the teachers and maintenance staff to make the move to the modular an effective one. The students will be transitioned in a thoughtful manner to make this switch from the gym to their new classrooms as seamless as possible.
We appreciate the flexibility of the students, teachers, and parents during this transition. We are excited to have our new modular classrooms as part of our school. We know the learning at Barrows will continue as our wonderful staff work together effectively to meet the needs of all learners. We will hold our annual brief Open House visits for our Kindergarteners in the few days before school starts. I hope you have a great rest of your summer and I will be in touch in August as more information becomes available and with dates for classroom visits.
A message from READING SCHOOL DISTRICT
Good Morning, Barrows, Joshua Eaton, and Killam Communities,
We hope all is well and you are enjoying your summer. The purpose of this email is to update you on the modular classroom construction at Killam, Barrows and Joshua Eaton. Over the last several weeks, I have been kept updated by Director of Finance and Operations Martha Sybert, Director of Facilities Kelly Colon, and our Owner’s Project Manager, Gale Associates. There have been weekly construction meetings which have discussed the timeline of the project, including when the modular classrooms would reach substantial completion and be ready for our students.
Although there were some delays early in the process, we were reassured by the contractor that the project could be completed by the agreed upon substantial completion date of August 24th. Recently however, it became evident that this timeline was not attainable. There have been several delays in the project, including the submission, re-submission and final approval of construction and foundation design plans, some unexpected delays during excavation at Killam and Barrows, and delays in the transit of the modular classrooms from Pennsylvania. Therefore, due to these delays, the modular classrooms will not be completed by the end of August. In conversations with our Owner’s Project Manager, it is now expected that the modular classrooms will be completed for occupancy by mid to late September.
In anticipation of the delayed completion date, we are making plans for temporary classroom space for our kindergarten students at their assigned elementary school. In the next 48 hours, Principals Eric Sprung, Cathy Giles, and Heather Leonard will be communicating to their school communities the specific details of those classroom spaces.
We are certainly disappointed with this latest information that we have received, and we will work diligently to assure that our kindergarten students and families will have a smooth transition to their new school. As we move forward, our building principals will be keeping you updated on the progress of the modular construction at your school and all current information regarding the start of the school year.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Reading Public Schools Administration offices or your building principal.
John F. Doherty
Superintendent of Schools
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