W-F launches first day of school
By Angie Landsverk
HVAC updates at Weyauwega Elementary School took place over the summer, as well as improvements in the restrooms and the addition of Learning Walls in some classrooms.
“The system’s being tested and balanced. It should be up and running for the first day of school,” District Administrator Scott Bleck said of the HVAC system.
The same is to take place with the new boilers, prior to the start of the heating season.
Thursday, Sept. 1, is the first day of school in the Weyauwega-Fremont School District.
The 10 classrooms in the school’s main hallway received new HVAC equipment over the summer.
Last January, the school board approved bids totaling $1.23 million for those updates.
The district, which is debt free, planned to pay for the project by using about $425,000 out of Fund 41, a capital improvements fund, and about $900,000 out of the General Fund, which was to include a portion out of the fund balance.
Bleck said the 10 classrooms, which received new HVAC equipment, also received new learning walls.
The type of HVAC equipment added to the rooms resulted in a loss of some storage ability, he said.
The Learning Wall combines storage with white boards and bulletin boards.
The storage area is behind the slideable boards.
Bleck said the Learning Wall is also a teaching platform for the teachers.
Several days before the start of the 2016-17 school year, Kris Hudziak wrote on the white board in her third-grade classoom and showed the storage capacity behind the boards.
She said the Learning Wall includes upper and lower storage areas.
The Learning Wall is not the only new addition in her classroom.
Hudziak’s class of approximately 15 students has new tables and chairs.
Bleck said her classroom is the pilot for a functional classroom.
The classroom also includes one cafe style table with two chairs, an adjustable computer table students may stand at and floor pillows.
“Last year, I had different students who preferred to stand, so I raised their desks,” Hudziak said.
This school year, students who prefer to stand may opt to head to the cafe style table.
Her classroom also has two chairs for students with adaptive needs.
“They look like the others, so they don’t stand out,” she said.
Those two chairs allow students who like to rock to be able to do so.
They offer the same type of core support one would receive while sitting on an exercise ball, with back support, Hudziak said.
All of the chairs in the classroom are designed so students may also comfortably sit sideways or backwards in them without getting their legs or feet caught anywhere.
“There’s lots of versatility,” she said.
With the tables all on wheels, that gives Hudziak the ability to easily move tables together.
Also new in the district this year are mini iPads for science lessons in the elementary classrooms.
Last month, the school board approved leasing 64 devices for a three-year period at a total cost of $15,117 ($5,039 per year).
The mini iPads are to be used as part of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Launch program.
The school district is launching PLTW at the high school this school year.
The Launch program is for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Five or six mini iPads are going to be dedicated to each grade at the elementary level.