Castlewood school district moves into mobile classrooms
CASTLEWOOD, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Castlewood School District has had a smooth start to the year, thanks in part to local churches and community spaces letting them temporarily set up classrooms in their buildings. But that all changes Monday, and the school is one step closer to coming back together in one piece.
Students at Castlewood had last Thursday and Friday off to watch their high school volleyball team play in the state tournament for the first time in almost 25 years. But staff and volunteers used that time to move everything over from the churches to eight new classrooms in their finished mobile units, connected by a covered walkway to the main school building.
“Thursday morning, the goal was to move out of the churches and move in to the classrooms. And then, early afternoon we all went to Sioux Falls for State,” Superintendent Peter Books said. “We’ve had some good luck finally, and we deserve that. We’re embracing that. We’re just really excited to be here.”
For many students and teachers it’s the first time this year they’ve had a space to call their own. And it’s taken a lot of work to seamlessly move from multiple locations to one new space.
“I mean, they showed up for the first day honestly with their school supplies, because we had only brought things to the churches that we needed. So it was kind of like a first day for them again.” Pre-K through 12th Principal Angela Keszler said.
That hasn’t slowed down any learning though.
“We had a routine down at the church. The kids came in from recess, they knew exactly what to do. They took out their papers, got right to work. We had our morning meeting, and we’ve already started math. While it’s a different location, the kids still know the routine.” 2nd Grade Teacher Sandra Everson said.
As exciting as this move is though, it’s only another step on getting everyone back in one building. Books said for the past two months, a 25-person task force has put together a preliminary plan to rebuild and expand the school building where needed.
He said taking into account building costs and inflation, they think they need at most $23 million. But with community surveys being sent out, residents can look at a line-by-line budget and provide feedback for what they think is needed.
“But please look it over, write down questions and please call the school office and ask for me, the Superintendent. We’ll be happy to go through it with the community. But we’re excited that it’s coming out today, and it’s the first step of a journey.” Books said.
Books said those community surveys need to be filled out by December 11th. That way, the school board has enough time to put together a final bond number for the community to vote on in the spring.
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