The common question often is, especially in education--what’s new in your school district?
The Ladue School District will be making news by opening the brand new fifth grade center on the West Campus on Ladue road, purchased from Westminster Christian Academy. The brand new Ladue Early Education Center (LEEC) sits on the eastern edge of the property already.
Ironically, this property was the old West Ladue Middle School, sold to Westminster when Ladue’s student population declined years ago.
The school building is getting a facelift from front door to back. Almost $2 million will be spent, bringing the facility up to code and ADA standards, sprucing up the place with new tile and carpeting, new paint splashed everywhere and new furniture to fit out all the spaces.
Some $400,000 has been spent to date. SM Wilson, who guided the LEEC project through channels is doing the same for the fifth grade center. “We don’t have that kind of expertise. That’s not what we do. We hired them to manage the project,” said Ladue’s CFO, Jason Buckner.
Students will have to do some things like pick school colors and a mascot. Likely, some shade of blue will be involved.
The kitchen area is being reconstructed to the tune of $175,000, with the district working closely with its food provider Chartwells.
According to the district’s computer coordinator Rob Highfill, the building will be 100 percent wireless. “Students will not be learning in the traditional computer labs. Rather, all of the computers will be portable and used throughout all the classrooms,” said Highfill.
Interactive smart boards with projectors will be in all the classrooms. “That way two students can be leading discussions at the front of the room, not just one at a time,” said Highfill.
The gymnasium floor has been sanded and resurfaced. The Westminster logos were erased.
The building will be heavily secured. Visitors will have to be buzzed through the front door.
February 6 is on the calendar for all the new fifth grade parents. Donna Jahnke, superintendent for curriculum and Julie Helm will co-host a fourth-grade parents meeting at the new site.
The Ladue communications department will be using outlets such as the E-Newsletter to keep everyone informed of meetings and progress of the project.
In March, parent association meetings will be held at all four of the district’s elementary schools.
District Activity Fees
The Ladue School Board is still dealing with activity fees, and that topic will now be advanced as an action item. Students at middle and high school will soon be required to pay a fee to participate in extra curricular activities.
The consensus of the board is fees will be student based, not activity based. One fee, likely $50 a year will include all activities. Discussion included a cap per family, likely $150 for three or more students. In all likelihood, students who are on free or reduced lunch plans will not be charged any fees.