Teachers are already back to school for the new semester. And when Verde Elementary kids return next Monday, they’ll go to a different place.
Verde principal Seth Moldovan marvels that the new temporary school went up so fast. Neat rows of concretables occupy nine acres of former fields next to Don Estridge High Tech Middle School. The land was leased by the city.
“This is our single-point access,” he said on a tour of the secure campus with vice principal Linden Codling. “No visitors or parents have access to the campus. You have to go to the office first.”
The temp school will house Verde students for at least a year until their new K-8 is built on the original footprint. “They’ll start laying the foundation,” once the old school is completely demolished, he said.
Addison Mizner Elementary comes next, another K-8. Then the temp school will make room for a new elementary. All three are meant to help alleviate school overcrowding.
Workmen were moving in large flat screen TVs and the kids will get new laptops. The whole school has wifi. Classrooms for the younger kids even have their own bathroom.
“This is nicer than a 35-year-old school,” the principal said. “We actually have more space and a longer lunch hour.”
Most importantly, “they’ll have the same teachers in front of them,” he said about the 78-member faculty, 119 with staff.
The school district worked out the bus and drop-off schedule to leave the campus two ways. That’s either off Banyan Trail or Spanish River Boulevard to Military Trail. The start time doesn’t overlap with Estridge.
“We had four buses last year and 15 this year,” he said. “We looked at doubling the number of students to ride the buses.”
They’re figuring on 600 to 700 students for buses but also made plenty of room for vehicle drop-offs and pickups, he said.
Security is paramount, Moldovan said about the gates and city and school police presence.
“We have CurbSmart for dismissals,” he added about the After School Student Release program. “The numbers and names have to coincide.”
By Marci Shatzman