Life in a Portable Classroom - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Life in a Portable Classroom

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Election day for Minot Schools is one week away.

The Minot Public School is asking permission to borrow 39-and-a-half million dollars to build a new elementary school in southeast Minot, and to make additions and renovations at Edison and Perkett Elementary.

If passed, a school bond would go a long way towards eliminating portable classrooms in the district.

Currently more than two dozen classes meet outside of school buildings district-wide.

Perry Olson visited one today to see what challenges are brought on by being outside the actual school.

On a cold, blustery Monday morning...the trek outside to class was on once again for 3rd graders at Sunnyside Elementary. Here, two classes meet in portables...with music and special education calling the others home. It's become the norm...but that doesn't mean it is preferred.

(Anne Geerts - Sunnyside 3rd Grade Teacher) "Obviously you are missing being in the school, bathroom breaks, being around other kids all day. I think they miss that and that is certainly a disadvantage"

(Perry Olson - KX News) "Mrs. Geerts classroom is one of 25 in the district in the portable classroom setting. That is 475 students total. If a new school is built it would be able to handle 550 students."

Once in the classroom, Geerts says teaching and learning are pretty similar to being in the actual school...but its those times when people have to leave that become long, drawn out, and big learning interrupters.

(Anne Geerts - Sunnyside 3rd Grade Teacher) "Especially in the winter, they have to get dressed in winter gear, make the trek...it is a disruption and there are kids who use it as -- I can't really monitor them so when they are gone, they are gone until they come back."

Mrs. Geerts hopes soon, rooms like this will be a thing of the past.

(Anne Geerts - Sunnyside 3rd Grade Teacher) "Hopefully last...yes!"

At Sunnyside, Perry Olson, KX News.

The price tag on a new elementary school should it be approved by voters next week is 18 million dollars.

The rest of the funds would go for school additions around the district, as well as security upgrades.

The vote is next Tuesday.

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