Perry Township Schools
The Southside has always been known as a great place to live and raise a family. Our reputation continues to be strong.
The enrollment in your school district increased by more than 250 students to 15,000-plus this year, the most in history. We have closely monitored our growth, and all indicators tell us that this growth will continue.
We have installed 26 classroom trailers around the district to accommodate our increased enrollment, and we will be renting at least five more for the 2015-16 school year. In five years there could be more than 50 classroom trailers at our elementary schools and four at each middle school. Temporary classrooms are located at the following elementary schools:
• Two at Mary Bryan and Southport.
• Four at Lincoln, Clinton Young, Homecroft and Glenns Valley.
• Six at Burkhart.
We all realize that these classrooms are only an intermediate fix. Classroom space is a major issue that ultimately affects everyone in the township, and we have turned to the community for its guidance.
The Perry Community Advisory Panel was formed to provide that kind of input. The panel features high school students, parents, current and former teachers, administrators, support staff, business owners, clergy, real estate agents and retirees. The group was instrumental in providing direction as we addressed the district’s financial shortfalls in the past.
On Sept. 29 the panel met at Homecroft Elementary for an update on the work since the referendums were passed in 2011. More than 40 member attendees were engaged and focused on meeting the needs of children in our community. Our capacity needs for classroom space were addressed. The group visited one of the four temporary classrooms at the school, where Principal Jody Matthews and fourth- grade teacher Mrs. Shoup discussed the challenges of teaching in that kind of environment.
Another challenge discussed is the open concept classroom design at Winchester Village Elementary. The model from the 1970s does not provide secure classroom walls or doors that close and lock.
The panel also met Oct. 8 at Southport High to discuss financial and project funding, tax impacts and facility options.
Bottom line: Everyone agreed that we need to find a permanent solution to our increased enrollment while adding walls and doors to classrooms at Winchester Village.
The board of education is interested and actively listening to everyone. We welcome conversations with you about your thoughts on addressing the classroom space issue. We have a challenge to meet the needs of our prosperous, growing community. Together, we will arrive at solutions that will maintain the quality educational programs that Perry Township expects.