Charter School increased in size by over 16,000 sq. ft. this week as it
started classes in its recently completed building addition.
That surpasses the
original target of having the addition finished during the school’s winter
break. Principal Ernesto Martinez said that the new cafeteria area, which
also doubles as a gymnasium, was finished in time before the weather turned
cold and students could eat inside.
The new wing is
attached to the original building and has seven new classrooms, three
offices, restrooms and a teachers lounge. No major hiccups were reported as
classes transitioned to their new rooms and only a few minor tasks remain.
The school is finishing installation of a PA system and key cards for staff.
“It feels like an
entire building. This is the real deal,” said Discovery board member Bill
Schmuhl at Wednesday’s board meeting.
The board is
planning to have an open house and ribbon cutting on April 13, when the
weather is warmer after spring break.
Pamela Moore said the school committees are brainstorming ways to get people
to see the building, such as having a math/science night.
financial advisor Allan Gabriele told the board that the school is in good
shape with its bonds and cash flow. The school closed on a $7 million bond a
year ago for construction of the new building and its transition to
self-management from American Quality Schools.
Gabriele said the
school has completed its most recent audit and in January will be able to
advertise and start paying off debt.
construction news, Martinez said crews will continue working on the next
phases of the parking lot expansion, adding more spaces on the west end. The
Hamstra Group will be disconnecting the power to modular buildings and will
be removing them from the property shortly after that, Martinez said.
In his report to
the board, Martinez said the Department of Education has come up with its
most recent accountability grades. State legislators have not decided yet
whether schools would be held harmless, as they did last year, if the school
received a lower grade due to the tougher standards for ISTEP+ testing.
Lawmakers will convene in January for the 2017 General Assembly.
grades are embargoed currently. Martinez said he is not sure when they will
be released to the public but he is “very happy with the results” he has
seen for Discovery.
is 506 students, which is down from the school’s September count of 510 due
to some students moving away, Martinez said. The school is continuing open
house tours for prospective families, he said. A list of those dates are on
Moore said the
school’s four committees have continued to discuss different topics. The
Place-based Learning committee has been collaborating on ideas with Dunes
Learning educator Erin Crofton and are planning to do a geocaching program
with the National Lakeshore.
Development committee is working with the director of technology from Purdue
Northwest on differentiation, Moore said.
Also, board member
and Parents Advisory Council President Lisa Apato said $8,000 has been
rebated from use of SCRIP gift cards, which raise money for the school. That
is the running total since August, she said.
In public comment,
parent Deanna Stazinski asked the board if it would consider approving a
policy so that parents working as substitute teachers are assigned to teach
the class their child is in. Board President Laurie Metz said the board see
what it can do about the request.
The next board
meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 25.