By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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All these changes are being triggered by a reorganization of grade levels in the district.
Classrooms affected by the shifting grade levels have been repainted, and many have been rewired for new technology, Superintendent Diana Reaume and Assistant Superintendent Kyle Weakley told the Quillayute Valley School Board last week.
All will have a fresh new look, they said last Tuesday.
“Our office has been running at full speed since the decision to move forward was made,” Weakley said.
The School Board approved the reorganization plan in April.
Parents of school children are invited to an informational meeting and tours of the schools at 6 p.m. Aug. 11, beginning at Forks High School.
The reorganization of the schools has provided an opportunity for the district to update technology make other improvements that had been on the district’s wish list for some time, Weakley said.
Prekindergarten has been moved from a set of portable rooms behind Forks Elementary School into the main building, which also will house first through third grades.
The reorganization’s focus is on early intervention — to get students reading at grade level by the third grade.
“We’ve got to get to kids earlier,” Weakley said.
The elementary school will keep its existing purple and gold colors, and its mascot will remain the Puddlejumpers.
The former Forks Middle School, 121 Spartan Ave., which housed sixth- to eighth-grade classrooms, is now known as Forks Intermediate School, with the fourth through sixth grade.
One classroom was converted into a computer lab with entirely new computer equipment and phone and electrical systems rewired for the new uses, Weakley said.
Playground equipment, to be installed near the outdoor basketball courts, arrived last Tuesday and will be installed as weather allows, he said.
He said that all of the classroom equipment that was boxed up by teachers has been moved to appropriate classrooms.
Angled parking spots on the north side of the school have been removed and the area repaved.
A fence will be installed to create a protected drop-off and pick-up area for students, he said.
Reaume said the intermediate school does not yet have school colors or a mascot.
No decision has been made as to how school colors and a mascot will be chosen, she said.
Junior high school
The Annex, which had been out of use as a classroom building for several years, has been used as an office space and for storage.
Items in storage have been moved to the district’s bus garage, office walls have been removed to open up classroom space, classrooms were repainted, smart boards installed, and a new roof put in on the six-classroom building, Weakley said.
The school has been rewired so that the announcement system is connected with the science and music wing of the intermediate school, which will be primary utilized by the junior high school.
The junior high mascot will be the Junior Spartans and will share the Forks High School colors of royal blue and gold.
Signs have been ordered to highlight the new school identities for visitors, Reaume said.
The junior high school for seventh and eighth grades is so new it hasn’t been recognized yet by the state as an educational entity, Reaume said.
The district has filed paperwork with the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to recognize the school, she said.
She said there are a number of school districts in the state who are making similar changes to their school grade alignments, and there is a standard process.
The most complicated difficulty will be how to figure out funding allocations related to the No Child Left Behind legislation, she said
Forks Middle School was a designated as a “focus school” due to failing to meet federal average yearly progress standards.
All schools in the state were required to meet a 100 percent rate for students being at grade level in reading and math by the end of the 2013-14 school year.
Few schools in the state are expected to meet that standard.
Restrictions and funding intended to address educational programs related to being a focus school are expected to follow the grades from which they came — to the new junior high school for the seventh and eighth grades and to the intermediate school for the sixth grade, Reaume said.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.