'Positive change' expected for students after Sleight move
IRONWOOD - Last month the Ironwood School Board voted to move students from Sleight Elementary to Luther L. Wright School and students, teachers and parents alike are preparing for the transition.
The board approved a majority of the students in the district under one building at LLW and students in pre-kindergarten and the alternative school attending Sleight. The Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District offices being rented at LLW will be moved to Sleight, according to the board's plan.
At LLW, the plan is to have kindergarten through second grade students on the first floor, third through sixth grades (called Norrie Elementary) on the second floor and seventh through 12th graders on the third floor.
The goal is to have everything in place before the start of the next school year.
While teachers pack up classrooms to move either a few floors up, or a few blocks over, parents are also preparing for the transition.
For some, this isn't the first time they and their kids have had to make the transition.
Parent Leigh Dabb had a son make the transition from Norrie to the first floor of LLW in 2010.
"The first move was scary," Dabb said. "I was nervous, but everything clicked and went fairly well. Having the younger kids coming over now, it's going to be a lot easier."
Dabb has two students in the district, a fourth grader and one in sixth grade. She is also a member of the PTO and sees an advantage from an organizational standpoint.
"This move will make things feel more united, that everything is separate," Dabb said. "Before, if we wanted to do a door decorating contest for example, we would have a Sleight contest and a Norrie contest. Everything will be together."
For parent Marisa Buerger, the move has positives, including from a administrative view.
"I think it's going to a be positive change of our students, and I really like the idea of the elementary principal, Nick Steinmetz, being with the kids all day, versus separate time in each school," Buerger said.
Buerger has two children in the district, a first grader and a fourth grader. She said she also likes the idea of having the older kids more involved with elementary students.
"Having the third through sixth grade at LLW has had a great impact on the younger students," Buerger said. "The older kids are involved with those students, and my daughter always has positive things to say about the older kids. For some parents, they want to keep these kids away from the high schoolers, but I think it's great to have them together."
According to board members and staff, comments were made in previous meetings about parents being excited about having all of their children in one building.
To help parents with the transition, superintendent Tim Kolesar and Steinmetz held an information meeting March 27. Parents were given a tour of LLW, and were provided information on how the move will take place.
Buerger said it was a "great meeting.
"They explained it very well, and it was quite an informational meeting," she said. "I thought they did a great job, and you could see a lot of the positives.
"I think this is going to be great for our kids."
For more information, call the Ironwood Area School District at 906-932-0932 or visit ironwood.k12.mi.us.