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Archbold Ready For New Year; Elementary Packed




The floors are being waxed, supplies are trickling in, and teachers are preparing classrooms as the Archbold Area School district makes final preparations for the 2008-09 school year, which starts in one week.

Students report to class on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Prior to that, elementary and middle school students and their parents have an opportunity to meet with teachers, Monday, Aug. 18.

Archbold Elementary School hosts an open house from 5- 7 pm; middle school students have the same opportunity from 6-7:30 pm.

One of the first things they’ll find on the first school day is that the schedule is different.

Due to fuel-saving changes in bus routes, the middle school starts at 8:10 am and is dismissed at 2:55 pm.

Elementary, kindergarten, and pre-school students start the day 10 minutes later, at 8:20 am, and go until 3:10 pm.

The high school begins at 8:25 am and dismisses at 3:05 pm.

Packed

Elementary students might notice something else. The school building is packed to capacity, said David Deskins, district superintendent.

“Mrs. (Dorothy) Lambert, (elementary principal), is adjusting classroom space to accommodate,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Archbold School Board approved the hiring of an additional kindergarten teacher for 2008-09. That turned out to be a good move.

As of last week, Deskins said, “We have 108 signed up. That’s big for a kindergarten class, and we’re expecting another handful in the next two days.”

So far, none of the parents of the youngsters have requested half-day kindergarten.

Deskins said district offi- cials have “had to turn away a number of open enrollment students, because of full class sizes. We have some very large numbers in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades; also, ninth and tenth.

“We had to decline some open enrollment requests. We did not have to turn anyone away the year before.

“We have been fortunate. A number of our students have moved out of the district but wanted to continue their edu- cation at Archbold. We’ve been able to honor most of those requests,” he said.

Preparation of the school buildings “are probably a little farther along than they were last year.”

Final Coat

Last week, the final coat of wax was being applied to the main entrance and hallway at the high school.

Some carpet in the elementary school had to be replaced, Deskins said.

There have been a number of repairs at the middle school, which was originally built in 1930 and extensively renovated in the mid 1990s.

“There are continual problems at the middle school,” he said.

“As far as building cleanliness, the custodial staff does a great job in this district.”

A recent energy audit of Archbold School District buildings showed that the elementary and high schools may be declared “Energy Star” buildings, because of the energy effi ciency.

That, Deskins said, shows how well-run and -maintained the buildings are.

The energy audit also gave district officials ways to cut energy use; for example, installing a second set of lights in the gym that use less energy for times when physical education classes aren’t using the gym. People can still see to make their way through, but the powerful lights won’t burn all day.

Supplies for the new school year, from copier paper to finger paint, have been rolling in.

Some items “can’t be ordered too early, or they’ll dry up,” he said.

The district is ordering its supplies through a consortium and ordering in bulk, so they can purchase items at a reduced cost.

Teachers have been in and out of their classrooms since Aug. 1, preparing the classrooms and getting ready for the new school year.

New Phones

Additionally, the district telephone system has been upgraded and updated.

Deskins said parents and others calling the school will find the new phone system much more efficient.

With the new telephones come new numbers.

The school buildings themselves retain their old numbers: elementary, 419-446-2727; middle school: 419-446-2726; high school: 419-445-5579.

New numbers: school district office (superintendent, treasurer, payroll, transportation), 419-446-2728; AHS athletic offi ce, 419-445-2583.

The Archbold Middle School athletic office has the new 567 area code. That number is 567- 444-4383.


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