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L.L. Wright prepares to become K-12

 

Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

BOXES SIT waiting to be unpacked in a classroom at Luther L. Wright School in Ironwood on Monday in preparation for the first day of school on Sept. 2. Since June, kindergarten through second grade teachers have been making the move from Sleight Elementary to LLW to make the building K-12.

IRONWOOD - Things are moving along "smoothly," according to superintendent Tim Kolesar as the Ironwood Area School District prepares Luther L. Wright School to become K-12.

On Monday, a few boxes and some desks lined the hallways on the first floor, while teachers spent the day organizing classrooms.

Kindergarten through second grade teachers moved from Sleight Elementary School over to LLW in the beginning in June, and some teachers already have their classrooms ready for the first day of school on Sept. 2.

Sleight will still be occupied through the upcoming school year, housing the Gogebic County Community Schools. As for LLW, things are going well, according to Kolesar

"Teachers are slowly, but surely, getting ready," he said. "Everything is going really, really well. It was nice starting the move in June, because it has given the teachers time to get settled."

Kolesar said besides all the students being in one building, another positive for the move is the technology upgrades for Sleight teachers. Over the past few weeks, technology upgrades have taken place in the elementary classrooms with mounted projectors being installed into the ceilings.

"From what they had at Sleight to what they have now, everything is more up to date," Kolesar said.

He said the move has also helped teachers transition from older desks to newer, smaller desks. He said many items were being utilized from Sleight up at LLW.

Besides renovating classrooms and unpacking boxes, LLW will also go through an exterior upgrade, with a bus drop-off lane starting to be built next week. Ruotsala Concrete Construction will begin building the drop-off lane at the main entrance of LLW to allow smoother entering and exiting for students.

To help alleviate any confusion on the first day of school, Kolesar said he also wants to utilize students in National Honor Society and JROTC to help make sure younger students get where they need to go.

"We also may use the idea of color coding," Kolesar said. "I got the idea after the PTO picnic at the end of last year with all the kids wearing a specific color for their grade level. I thought, 'Why can't we use that on the first day?' That way we know which grade each kid is in, and know where they need to be."

Lunch time schedules have also been worked out to prevent any conflicts, and Kolesar along with elementary principal Nick Steinmetz, plans to send parents a letter to explain how everything will go on the first day of the school year.

"We know some parents are worried, but we want to make it as pleasant an experience as possible," Kolesar said. "With kindergarteners, whether at Sleight or LLW, we have to teach them where everything is. We will still do that, but with more grades. The teachers will help through that transition."

According to Kolesar, despite the fact Sept. 2 is less than a month away, LLW will be ready.

"When we said we were going to have 43 classrooms ready, we have it," Kolesar said. "I'm just so glad we started in June. There were 500 boxes in each room, but now classrooms are starting to look like classrooms. Everything is going really smooth."

For more information, call the Ironwood Area School District at 906-932-0932, or visit ironwood.k12.mi.us.