ESES getting a makeover

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Eureka Springs Elementary School will have a facelift this summer. The school board heard a presentation Monday evening from Josh Siebert of Modus Studios who said the school has a limited budget, and this project would focus on the most public spaces, including the entry, hallways, and the cafeteria.

Siebert shared slides illustrating “bold colors and a modern fresh look.” New lighting will help make the hallways brighter, and new floor tile will not require the annual stripping and waxing currently needed. Acoustic panels will help reduce noise in the cafeteria.

On the outside, a new entry canopy will make a statement. Siebert said drawings for the project are almost complete, and he will submit the plans for approval through the state Department of Education. The project would then go out for bids, and Siebert said construction would begin in June and would be completed by August.

Principal input

The principals who reported to the board all spoke of the upcoming ACT Aspire testing. High School Principal David Gilmore encouraged parents to make sure students have a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast. He said the high school had a celebration party last year after a good performance on the test. “We try to reward them when they do well,” he said.

Gilmore also recapped the successes of the basketball season. Boys’ Coach Brian Rambo and girls’ Coach Ryan Sanchez were both Coach of the Year in their conference. Garrett Cross and Shelby Little were named all-state, and a number of players were selected as all-conference.

The chess team, under the direction of Jerry Wells and Rick Mann, had just returned from winning the state championship. At least 10 students will go to skills competitions in Hot Springs, in subjects such as plumbing and electricity. One student will compete in medical terminology, “a first for us,” Gilmore said. “This is very beneficial for students, and a lot of schools will cover their tuition at a trade school.”

Middle School Principal Cindy Holt described a busy month with a good turnout for parent-teacher conferences, the first musical by students in grades seven and eight will be presented this weekend, and the school will host the district junior high track meet.

A delegation of kindergarten teachers represented the elementary school. Danielle Purvis reported on a new reading curriculum adopted this year, saying kindergarten students have made dramatic strides since the start of the year. “We strive to make reading fun, so they want to go home and read,” she said. Most students are on target or above, and they are learning to read for longer periods to develop stamina they will need in testing in future years.

Supt. Bryan Pruitt suggested keeping the current salary schedules for certified and classified personnel. He said the district has been adjusting salaries roughly every other year. The board approved his suggestion.