North Bend Eagle

 

 

Elementary school pleased with addition

by Mary Le Arneal
published 12/10/08

In its first year of use, the addition completed in August of this year has added brightness to North Bend Elementary.

Sunshine has been a bonus in the NBE hallways with the large door added to the north end of the addition. Though it is only a fire exit door, the glass double door allows light to stream into the hallway that goes the length of the school.

The addition was built last summer, opening in time for school, consisting of two new rooms and some reconfiguration of rooms located on the north side of the school.

Windows were eliminated from a classroom, so the music room was moved to that windowless room and the second grade classroom was moved to the shortened music classroom. A storage closet was removed to make a hallway. Space taken from the former music room on the west side was used to make a new storage room.

Still sporting a fresh new smell, the new area is being used by special services for students. The speech therapist has the east room to work with students. Jennifer Karnatz works with children from birth to age 21 with speech needs, including home visits to some of the youngest students.

“She is busy all day long,” said Caryn Ziettlow, NBE principal, “busier than any other special education teacher. A lot of it is working one-on-one with the students or small groups.”

In the speech room is also an area for physical therapy. A physical therapist comes twice a month to see students and trains NBE staff so that they can do the therapy on a continuing basis.

There is also a handicap accessible bathroom with a shower in the addition.

Mark Brower and Odetta Wacker work with students ina room on the west side of the addition. They work one-on-one with special ed students and in small groups with special ed and mainstream students in an integrated program.

Ziettlow said the teachers are very pleased with the extra room, which has made it quieter and easier to work with students.

There have been a few glitches that have been worked out. Music instructor Nancy Sic said her smaller classroom gets cramped when the students are practicing routines, but it is workable.

Ziettlow said after school started it was realized that ventilation had to be added to the music room with the loss of a window and that was done.

“Overall, the facility has worked out well,” Ziettlow said.

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