• Board OKs junior high move to old MacArthur

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Patton Junior High School opened at its current location in 1958. Since then, there have been four major renovations in 1994, 1996, 2004 and 2008. These renovations have created second- and third-order effects, including old roofing covered by new roofing causing draining back into the center of the building. Therefore, continual patching jobs have been needed.
    Additionally, Patton has more than 50 HVAC systems providing heating and air conditioning for the entire school, raising utility costs. More than half of the classrooms do not have windows or natural lighting, which also raises utility costs.
    These issues led to the recommendation for Unified School District 207 board members to approve the course of action to develop a new Patton Junior High School at the old MacArthur Elementary School site during the monthly board meeting Nov. 29 in the new MacArthur Elementary School cafeteria.
    Board members said there were other reasons that led to the recommendation. First, safety.
    Currently, Patton is located outside the Fort Leavenworth anti-terrorism gate. In the early morning hours of June 4, 2018, an intoxicated driver attempted to penetrate the anti-terrorism gate. The security footage of the accident was shown during the meeting.
    “The gate did exactly what it was supposed to do,” said Rich Holden, chief financial officer, “but, in the daylight, if that was a terrorist he could’ve easily decided to turn into Patton and that middle gate that is angled up to the school.”
    By moving Patton’s location to the old MacArthur, the school would be located in the center of post and in a less vulnerable spot, said Keith Mispagel, superintendent of schools.
    Second, transportation.
    At Patton’s current location, multiple buses are required to get students to and from the school.
    “There are a number of buses in the bus loop at dismissal time,” Holden said. “They were backed out to the street.”
    Having Patton relocated to the old MacArthur site will significantly reduce transportation requirements and save money because more students will be within walking distance of the school, Holden said.
    Additionally, the new location will be built to current architectural standards for education spaces; there is a greater parking capacity; there is direct access to the district track and field, which will be even more beneficial now that Patton is a part of the Kaw Valley League; all classrooms will have direct or borrowed natural light; and development of the building will not disrupt the learning process.
    The board members approved the recommendation and in the coming months will be briefed on the proposed plans. The renovations will be a multi-year project.
    “I’m ready for it. I think it will be great,” said Lt. Col. Bryce Frederickson, board vice president.
    Page 2 of 3 - Presentations
    During the meeting, two presentations were given.
    The Patton Drama Readers Workshop performed a sample of its fall production, which featured 12 of the 27 students in the class. The production was a readers theater performance.
    “The students have their scripts in front of them,” said Penny Paradies, Patton English and drama teacher. “The concept of readers theater is that the acting takes place with their voices, their faces, their upper body and very little movement. They really concentrate on (the facial and voice) part of the acting, which is important.”
    The students presented three short scenes entitled, “Black November,” “Creation Story” and “Gender Rules From Both Sides.”
    “It looks like you’ve been having fun,” said Myron Griswold, board president. “That is really an important goal for learning is to have fun.
    “The actable arts are a great part of our country and this district and this community and the United States overall,” he said. “So, I hope that you all keep it up in the future because you’re very talented.”
    The next show at Patton will be in January.
    The second presentation was the MacArthur school report given by Tyler Fowler, MacArthur principal. The presentation began with another student performance by the new MacArthur dance team, the Mustang Kickers.
    Following the dance performance, Fowler updated the board on SITE Council, collaborative teams, MacArthur Action Teams, the Thanksgiving lunch provided by the 705th Military Police Battalion (Detention), and the collaborative art MacArthur staff and faculty created in early October.
    For the Fort Leavenworth Lamp story on the art project, visit http://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/news/20181011/macarthur-teachers-create-collaborative-art.
    “Good report,” Griswold said. “As with all the schools, I always love the artwork. It is done well here, and it is done well in the other schools, too. That is a real strength of the entire district and I think the children take those skills and those relationships with them beyond USD 207.”
    State assessments
    The Kansas Assessment Program includes three types of tests and instructional tools: formative, interim and summative.
    The formative assessment is used by the teachers throughout the year to gauge their students’ understanding of various concepts and skills.
    The interim assessments are the traditional tests given three times per schoolyear to measure concepts and mastery of particular skills against current standards.
    In the 2017-18 schoolyear, predictive tools were added to the interim assessment, which allows teachers to predict individual students’ summative performance based on those individual students’ performance on the interim tests throughout the year.
    Page 3 of 3 - The last two interim assessments for the 2018-19 schoolyear for third- through eighth- grade in mathematics and English language arts are Dec. 3-14 and Feb. 4-15, 2019.
    The summative state assessment measures a student’s knowledge against the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards providing information about the depth of what students have learned throughout the schoolyear.
    Third- through eighth- grade will be tested between March 11, 2019, through April 26, 2019. All grades will be tested on mathematics and English language arts. Fifth- and eighth-graders will also be tested on science.
    All board meetings are open to the community. The next USD 207 board meeting is at 4 p.m. Dec. 17 at the USD 207 board office.
    For a complete overview of the meeting and the minutes, visit https://www.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.
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