The days are getting shorter, harvest is in full swing, and the weather is getting cooler. That can only mean one thing — it’s time to get ready to go back to school.
The faculty and staff at Greenfield Elementary School will be ready to hit the ground running. Teachers will be back for orientation Aug. 28 and the first day of school for students at Greenfield is Aug. 30. The daily schedule will remain the same as it has been with school starting at 8:10 a.m. and dismissal at 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2:30 p.m. on Fridays.
Most of the teachers will be returning for the 2017-18 school year. Kari Ratliff will be teaching kindergarten and heading up the music and band program. Anke Davis will once again teach the first and second graders together. She will have Fairfield High School graduate Natasha Lettingarver as a student teacher this fall. Abie Peltzer, who joined our staff in January of last school year, will be helping to split the first and second graders for grade specific subject areas like reading and math.
Due to the large combined class size between the third and fourth grades, the school board decided last spring to split the two grades. The fourth grade will be with Jennifer May and the third grade will be back with Alyson Freeman, who also joined the staff in January of 2017.
Karen Gundlach resumes her position in the fifth and sixth grades and Lisa Bedord and Principal and teacher Paul Wilson will be sharing duties with the seventh and eighth graders. Maggie Huggins will teach Spanish to the fifth through eighth graders along with her role as secretary and school nurse.
After nearly 30 years at Greenfield School, Bonnie Smoot retired after the 2016-17 school year. “She will be dearly missed, and everyone at Greenfield School is grateful for her commitment over the past three decades,” Wilson said.
Replacing Smoot is Kelli Bakken. “While Mrs. Bakken knows that she has some big shoes to fill, she is excited get started with this new chapter in her career,” Wilson said.
Scott Charpentier returns as custodian and head of maintenance once again, and he will be assisted by Haven Murphy. Rachelle Pearson will continue in her role as district clerk.
Ken Holmes and Dawn Seibel are back driving the bus routes for another year. Wilson said both routes will be like last year, but there are a few students who will be on different buses this year. “The school will contact all parents soon to give an approximate time for pick up.”
Salley Young will be back preparing lunches for staff and students with assistance from Suzie Konen and Haven Murphy. The cost of a student lunch will remain the same at $2.50 and an adult lunch for guests is $3.25.
Greenfield School participates in the Federal Free and Reduced lunch program and applications are available at any point in the school year.
“The maintenance crew was busy this summer painting throughout the school,” Wilson said. “They also replaced all of the old fluorescent light bulbs with new LED tubes that do not require a ballast. This should cut down on maintenance, and the new lights will help enhance the learning environment.”
The wood floors were once again redone, and cleaning and other general maintenance has been done throughout the summer. The lighting in the gym is scheduled for the week of Aug. 21.
“The school is also excited to have teamed up with KENCO Security to install closed circuit video surveillance cameras throughout the school,” Wilson said. “The cameras will be relatively inconspicuous and will allow appropriate administrative staff to monitor and record entrance doors, the parking lot and the public areas of the school to help ensure a safer, more secure school environment. Currently, there are no cameras planned for installation in classrooms.”
Wilson said however the biggest project the district has undertaken is an addition to house a new walk-in freezer. “In the past, the school has had to use three chest freezers and an upright to store all frozen food,” he said. “The walk-in freezer will be easier on our kitchen crew, and should be more energy efficient than what we’ve been doing in the past. The addition will also create more cold storage space for kitchen supplies and dry/canned food. Burton Finish Carpentry of Fairfield is overseeing this project that should be completed by the first full week of September.”
The Greenfield students are welcome to participate in extracurricular sports through a co-op agreement with Fairfield. Girls’ basketball and tennis start with the new school year, as well as football for the boys.