Aaron Reno, a fifth-grade math teacher at Greywolf Elementary School, stands in his classroom Monday.

Aaron Reno, a fifth-grade math teacher at Greywolf Elementary School, stands in his classroom Monday.

Greywolf Elementary portable offers new classroom space

SEQUIM — Greywolf Elementary School teacher Aaron Reno has returned to his old classroom space after teaching his two fifth-grade math classes out of the school’s library since the beginning of the school year.

“The kids cheered and are still happy about it,” Reno said.

“Hopefully I got the message out to our community that we have major facility needs here in Sequim.”

Reno said he was teaching without the necessary classroom essentials, such as a desk or place to put students’ backpacks, and faced constant interruptions in the library as other students checked out books while he was teaching.

A new portable was placed at the elementary school last July to create two new classrooms for the school.

However, the portable opened for classes Feb. 7 after the school received an occupancy permit from Clallam County on Feb. 6, Greywolf Principal Donna Hudson said.

Hudson said one of the classrooms in the portable is being used for a music program while the other space is used for small group instruction and as a flexible learning space for students.

“Mr. Reno and the students in his class are thrilled to have a real classroom,” Hudson said.

“I cannot thank Mr. Reno enough for volunteering to begin the year teaching in a ‘non-traditional’ environment,” she said.

“I don’t think any of us thought that we could be into the second semester of school before our new portable was ready for students. When I go into the classroom now, I see a happy teacher and many, many happy students teaching and learning in a calm, structured learning environment.”

School board updates

The Sequim School Board formed a committee to seek more information about hooking up to Clallam County’s Carlsborg Sewer System.

The board’s deadline to submit an application for a discounted hook-up rate of $36,000 is March 31. After that deadline, it will cost the district $192,000 to hook up to the system.

Directors also approved Larry Brown’s resignation as a Sequim High School math teacher effective today. Brown also resigned from his position as the high school girls’ varsity basketball coach in December.

Snow makeup days

Superintendent Gary Neal said he continues to seek snow makeup day options — including waivers for the district that would allow it to make up instructional time without extending the school year through June 14.

The schools closed for five-and-a-half days after a snow storm hit the area from Feb. 8 through Feb. 11.

“We continue to gain as much information as possible before making a decision,” Neal said.

Neal said that, even with a waiver, the school district would need to come up with a plan for teachers to complete 1,027 instructional hours with students.

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Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at ehawkins@sequimgazette.com.

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