FONTANA — After months of fundraising, the Fontana Elementary School will feature a new playground for its middle school students.
Starting in the spring, the Parent Teacher Organization sold bricks for a walk of fame. Money raised from the bricks covered the costs of the playground equipment.
District Administrator Sara Norton said she’s really excited about the new equipment.
“It’s a really cool plan,” she said. “I think we’re planning an opening for the first day of school.”
Installation of the equipment began Aug. 26, and Norton said the volunteer crew ran into some problems at the site, just north of the school building.
“We’ve got some major concerns that need addressing,” she said. “We think the area has been tiled. We found that out when we tried to dig a hole and hit water through rock.”
Norton said the rock is larger than gravel size and spread throughout the area evenly.
Joe McHugh, school board president, and Chadd Hartwig, school board treasurer, both have experience with professional engineering and plumbing. Norton asked if they could assist with the site.
“I think we need your eyes and brains,” she said. “It would be wonderful to have someone who understands all of that.”
Bricks have already been placed in front of the school, next to the main entrance.
Board member appointment
With the resignation of school board president Jennifer Keefe earlier this month, the board accepted applications to fill the seat until the April election.
Leo Bourneuf, a former school board member, was approved unanimously by the board. McHugh was selected by the board to fill the president seat, and Rebecca Decker was selected to become vice president.
Bourneuf was not at the Aug. 26 school board meeting. He left the board in the spring of 2012, after serving for one term, according to Regional News records.
Board Clerk Lisa Liang has worked over the previous school year to redesign the school’s website.
She said during the meeting that the website would be ready for a public launch within the next few weeks.
“It’s a complete overhaul,” she said. “If teachers want to update their own class pages, we have (videos) showing them how to do that.”
Norton said it was a lot of work for Liang to produce the website.
Standards and goals
The board members spoke at length about their top priorities for the school McHugh said he wants to make sure every board member is on the same page, and that school staff knows what the board wants.
“That’s the point of having these meetings (an annual board retreat),” McHugh said. “We can cement what we want and let the staff handle it. That way they’re not sitting in there trying to figure out something in the budget that we don’t even really want. If we tell them what we want, they can make it happen.”
McHugh said that literacy standards are a major goal for the school, but the board doesn’t need to micromanage how school administration increases student literacy.
“I want to come out of that meeting with everyone clear about what our goals are,” he said. “Then the staff can figure out how to make it happen. That part is up to them.”