USD 253 Board of Education receives a glimpse of what could be with new early learning facility during regular meeting Featured

USD 253 Board of Education receives a glimpse of what could be with new early learning facility during regular meeting Tagan Trahoon/KVOE News

USD 253 Emporia Public Schools is still in the developmental stages of constructing a new early learning facility, however, the path is becoming clearer.

During the board’s meeting Wednesday evening, HTK Architects held discussions with board members and outlined where the process currently stands. Rather than beginning the creative process by focusing on the size and look of the facility, HTK has chosen to identify key outcomes which the facility needs to address for the betterment of students getting set to enter Kindergarten.

Seven outcomes have been identified and include:

*Safety and security
*Opportunities for play learning
*Social-emotional growth
*Positive community involvement
*Independent skills
*Physical development
*Academic preparedness

Board member Susan Brinkman says she appreciates this approach calling it a "breath of fresh air" to traditional approaches.

 

Wednesday’s presentation also included a look at early learning facilities across the nation to help give board members an idea of what possibilities exist with the construction of a new facility. Board President Art Gutierrez says he enjoyed the insight into what other states are doing to accommodate early learning needs, however, it is important for Emporia's new facility to be tailored to Emporia students.



Superintendent Kevin Case says the district is planning to hold a thought exchange with district kindergarten teachers in the coming weeks as well as an exchange during the board’s next regular meeting. As KVOE has recently reported, the district’s early learning needs task force recommended the construction of a new facility to replace Maynard Early Childhood Center at the end of July. HTK will return to continue conversations with the board at their next meeting in two weeks. The project would be included in the district’s planned facility improvements, if voters decide to approve the district’s proposed $78 million improvement bond on Nov. 5.

Speaking of the Nov. 5 election, Superintendent Case presented an update on that topic as well Wednesday. According to Case’s report, all required publications have been published and run their required length.

Case says a proof of publication has been received by the Lyon County Clerk’s office and is currently en route to Gilmore and Bell to ensure everything is in proper order. Additionally, Case stated the district has planned two additional open house opportunities for residents and district stakeholders ahead of the general election.

Residents are invited to district facilities on Oct. 15 and 20 for the additional open house events. More information is available at the district’s website www.USD253.org.

In other business, the board accepted a SNAP-ED Grant from Lyon County Extension to provide nutrition education to district fifth-grade students this academic year. The board also approved the purchase of three new full-size SUV’s for out of town transportation use.

The USD 253 Board of Education will reconvene Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7 pm inside the Mary Herbert Education Center.

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