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This guide provides a framework for community involvement in the complex process of modernizing or building new public school buildings.


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Some Eastern Connecticut school playgrounds getting upgrades
-- John Penney, The Norwich Bulletin

Connecticut: March 29, 2015 -- Several Eastern Connecticut school playgrounds will be receiving upgrades thanks to a series of recently approved state grants. The State Bond Commission this month approved funding for early childhood-related projects in Plainfield, Sterling and Lisbon, many of them focusing on student recreation. In Plainfield, part of an $81,902 grant will be used to add handicap-accessible playground equipment outside the district's Early Childcare Center, which includes students from the Readiness and Head Start programs. A canvas-draped shell will be replaced with a gazebo-style shaded area, and a second play area will get a new ramp and fencing, said Rena Cadro, district director of curriculum and grants. "These are the type of upgrades we couldn't do without grant money," she said. "We're looking to do the upgrades within the year." Barbara Tetreault, head teacher and assistant director of the Readiness Program, said approximately 63 preschool students are on the playgrounds on any given day. "The students go outside three times each day, weather permitting," she said. "It's really important at that age that the children have chances to go out, expel some energy and be healthy."


Savoy residents want their voices heard
-- Nicole Lafond, The News-Gazette

Illinois: March 29, 2015 -- Seven years and several subdivisions ago, back when the population of Savoy was closer to 5,000 than 10,000, a group of concerned parents held a series of neighborhood meetings about a common complaint in the village. Residents were sick of being told that Champaign's Unit 4 district would eventually build them a shiny, new elementary school, and tired of staring at the empty lot in the middle of the Prairie Fields neighborhood, the someday site of Carrie Busey Elementary. There was talk about packing up and leaving for Unit 7, just a few miles down U.S. 45 in Tolono, which would have welcomed a wave of new students with open arms. But after researching all that goes into an official detachment — petitions, public hearings, a vote by the regional board of school trustees — that talk never went anywhere. Carrie Busey opened on Savoy's Prairie Rose Lane in 2012 and for a while, all was well. But for some, that forgotten-by-Unit 4 feeling is back in Savoy, this time over the contentious, $144 million school facilities proposal that will be put before voters in nine days. Some in the village are concerned about the priciest item in the package — the $94.5 million construction of a new Champaign Central High School in northernmost Champaign, even farther away from Savoy. For others, the frustration has more to do with the village's voice — or lack thereof — in discussions and debates about future facilities. "We would have thought with how important the referendum is to the school district and our students that there would have been some kind of information session from a Unit 4 representative here in Savoy so that residents and voters could have a chance to come out and hear what everything is all about," said Savoy Village Manager Dick Helton. "This is a community of 7,400 people that is part of the school district and it seems like we are just one segment of the entire population that is just forgotten about."


Schools in favor of Gov. Dayton's pre-school proposal if they have space
-- Nathan Bowe, DL-Online

Minnesota: March 29, 2015 -- Area school superintendents agree that getting 4-year-olds into the classroom on a regular basis is a good idea, but some say they don’t have the space to implement the proposal. ADVERTISEMENT VIDEOPRINT White Earth Reservation Tribal Council WHITE EARTH RESERVATION TRIBAL COUNCIL LOVE WORKING WITH CHILDREN? BECOME A TEACHER AT THE CIRCLE OF LIFE SCHOOL. COMP SALARY & BENEFITS! VIDEOPRINT Northwest Technical College NORTHWEST TECHNICAL COLLEGE 88% OF GRADUATES ARE HIRED IN THEIR FIELD OF STUDY, OR CONTINUE TO PURSUE A BACHELORS DEGREE PRINT Join Our Growing Team! JOIN OUR GROWING TEAM! HIRING ENTRY LEVEL GENERAL LEDGER ACCOUNTANT! COMPETITIVE COMPENSATION AND GROWTH OPPORTUNITY! PRINT Family Healthcare FAMILY HEALTHCARE SEEKING A DENTIST FOR NEW, BEAUTIFUL & MODERN FACITILY! GREAT PAY/BENEFITS + TUITION REIMBURSEMT. VIDEOPRINT Mayville State University MAYVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY COMPLETELY ONLINE, ACCELERATED RN TO BSN PROGRAM FOR CURRENT RNS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL VIDEOPRINT Rural Minnesota CEP RURAL MINNESOTA CEP JOB FAIR APRIL 9 3-6PM COME JOIN US PRINT CUSTOM EXECUTIVE HOME IN PRESCOTT AZ NO MORE FREEZING IN THE WINTER! VIDEOPRINT Voyager Industries VOYAGER INDUSTRIES VOYAGER INDUSTRIES, BRANDON MN SEEKS A MARKETING COORDINATOR VIDEOPRINT White Earth Reservation Tribal Council WHITE EARTH RESERVATION TRIBAL COUNCIL LOVE WORKING WITH CHILDREN? BECOME A TEACHER AT THE CIRCLE OF LIFE SCHOOL. COMP SALARY & BENEFITS! VIDEOPRINT Northwest Technical College NORTHWEST TECHNICAL COLLEGE 88% OF GRADUATES ARE HIRED IN THEIR FIELD OF STUDY, OR CONTINUE TO PURSUE A BACHELORS DEGREE PREVIOUS NEXT VIEW ALL OFFERS | ADD YOUR BUSINESS Gov. Mark Dayton wants to spend about $348 million, nearly a fifth of Minnesota’s budget surplus on creating a universal preschool program for Minnesota’s 4-year-olds. That would make Minnesota one of just a few states to offer universal, full-day pre-K. In a nutshell, here’s what the local superintendents said: Frazee-Vergas has the space available and welcomes the opportunity to expand its existing programming for 4-year-olds. Waubun-Ogema-White Earth will have to do some tweaking but has some extra space in its early childhood center and could make the proposal work. Detroit Lakes and Lake Park-Audubon just don’t have the room to expand to cover all 4-year-olds for five hours a day. Detroit Lakes hopes to solve the problem through a school construction project.


Communities find new life for shuttered school buildings
-- Maggie Menderski, The State Journal-Register

Illinois: March 28, 2015 -- Class has been dismissed permanently at some area schools, but for many communities, that’s when the work truly begins. Buildings that once served as focal points in towns often let school out forever as populations dip, schools consolidate or new technology strains old infrastructure. Some towns rally to reinvent the abandoned schools, while others watch the structures crumble through shattered windows. Many school districts lack the resources to tear down the empty buildings, so they may go up for auction, leaving the problem in a buyer’s hands. Nearly 20 public schools within 70 miles of Springfield have closed in the past decade alone. Few other concepts fit the multiroom mold of the standard school, but throughout the region, some have been converted into homes, apartment buildings or community centers. Meanwhile, others have rotted, had emergency demolitions or burned to the ground.


Iowa school board votes to tear down historic building
-- Associated Press, KCRG.com

Iowa: March 28, 2015 -- OSAGE, Iowa (AP) — The Osage School Board has voted to tear down the last of the historic Cedar Valley Seminary buildings to make way for an expansion on the Lincoln Elementary School site. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that the vote last week was unanimous. Mary Hanke, of Stacyville, urged the board members to consider historic grants that could help restore the building. But board members said no one had come forward to offer to move the building. Known in its heyday as “Old Central,” the 1869 building was the anchor for what was considered a college preparatory school.

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