The new school year is off to a fresh start in the Central High School District as students entered into updated buildings courtesy of numerous capital improvements made throughout the summer.
“The kids are in, they’re healthy, happy, safe and most importantly – they’re learning,” said Jon Simpkins, director of School Facilities & Operations.
At Calhoun, the refurbishment of science labs includes a flat panel screen for interactive lessons.
“The new technology turns this unit into a college level lab,” said teacher Kim Lascarides.
At Grand Avenue, a new roof, new bathrooms and central heat/air were installed over the summer, as well as a makeover to the guidance suite.
“We worked tirelessly as a district to get things spiffed up for the start of the school year,” explained Principal Carlo Conte.
Students can also now elect Mandarin as a world language course, in addition to Spanish, French and Italian. Seventeen students are enrolled in Mandarian at Grand Avenue, while 19 have signed up for the language at Merrick Avenue.
“This year, the Mandarin students will begin to develop their communicative skills and learn about many aspects of Chinese culture,” said World Languages Chairperson Renee Fallon.
Merrick Avenue saw a parking lot refacing, additional 35 flat panel screens and music and library rooms renovations, which were completed by district maintenance staff. Bathroom and heating/cooling work is currently underway.
Additionally, the district added an ENL (English as a New Language) program at Grand Avenue, where students were previously transferred to Merrick Avenue.
At Kennedy, freshmen were off to a philanthropic start, as the class of 2020 adviser Lisa Scherer initiated the first community service project for the year; collecting school supplies for a school in Louisiana devastated by recent flooding. The districtwide C.H.A.M.P [culinary and hospitality applied management program], housed at Kennedy, has a newly installed commercial kitchen, as well as new science labs.
At Mepham, students enrolled in the districtwide broadcast communications program were able to get up close with state-of-the-art studio equipment.
“Throughout the year students will be utilizing field bags and then the Mac labs to edit and complete video projects,” explained Vice Principal Marie Netto.
Other completed projects include updated science labs and new bathrooms.
At the Meadowbrook Alternative Program, housed in the central administration building, students will be utilizing a newly added science lab and soon – a Mac lab, courtesy of district maintenance staff.