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Washington Portables

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Going to school in Minot doesn't always involve going into the actual school for some kids over the last few years...

24 classes in the Minot Public School District meet outside of school buildings this year.

Portable classrooms have become commonplace in Minot as the number of students -- especially young students -- increases.

As Perry Olson shows us, the situation inside those portables isn't ideal, and that's something that should be changing soon.

The school day for Linda Filipek's 4th graders at Washington is full of extra interrupters now...

(Linda Filipek - Washington 4th Grade Teacher) "Getting our coats on. Coming back. Getting settled. Going to the bathroom. We lose a lot of time going back and forth to the main building."

That's because Mrs. Filipek and all 4th and 5th grade classes at Washington actually go to class outside the school...in portables classrooms.

(Laura Mihalick - MPS School Board Member) "As a school board member and a parent of kids who went to MPS I don't like the idea of them being in a portable. It isn't an ideal solution."

Trips to the bathroom...lunch...physical education...the library...they all require walks outside. Each portable runs the district about 110 thousand dollars to purchase, place, and use. Most of the units have two classrooms...separated by a thin wall and door. Noise can be an issue...and as you can see -- space is at a premium too.

(Linda Filipek - Washington 4th Grade Teacher) "They are pretty well confined to their seats. There isn't a whole lot of room to do projects unless you move all the desks and activities are pretty limited out here."

It has even changed this longtime educator's lesson plans...

(Linda Filipek - Washington 4th Grade Teacher) "I just can't do the things I used to be able to do."

Mihalick says portables need to be phased out -- because hearing stories like this doesn't sit well with her.

(Laura Mihalick - MPS School Board Member) "And one of the little 4th grade boys said, 'I am not a student at Washington Elementary, I go to school in a portable.'. I thought 'Oh my gosh!'. I hadn't even thought that the kids felt that way. They even feel detached from the school that they are going to."

Getting them into the school in the future is the plan. In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News.

School officials say they don't plan on purchasing any additional portable classrooms moving forward.

Should the 125 million dollar bond fail next month, the district would look at re-drawing boundary lines in future years shifting kids to different schools where there might be room.

If the bond is approved by voters, officials say the additional space created with new schools, renovations, and additions to existing buildings would solve the problem.

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