McIntosh Area School ‘all decked out’
Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.
McIntosh Area School students arriving for the first day of school today will gather in new modular classrooms equipped with the latest technology.
Principal Andrea Arnow said proceeds from many fundraisers allowed the school to buy modular buildings to replace four decade-old, leased portables on campus.
Over the summer, the old buildings were removed and the new ones put into place.
“This is exciting,” Arnow said. “The classes are all decked out.”
The school, which opened a decade ago, serves 81 students in grades kindergarten through fifth.
Arnow said a decade of fundraisers netted $250,000 to buy three of the four buildings outright, a mission spearheaded by Jason Perry, one of the school’s board members.
Arnow said the school is making payments on the fourth building.
“That’s good news for them,” School Board member Ron Crawford said. “I know it has been challenging at times for that school. I am glad to see that they are doing well.”
Arnow said three of the new buildings will each have two classrooms. Half of the fourth building will house the cafeteria and after-care center.
The other side of the fourth building will be used for voluntary pre-kindergarten, slated to open in January.
The main brick-and-mortar building at the front of campus still houses a private doctor’s office and the school’s administration.
Arnow said she is also pleased with the school’s FCAT scores this year. But since the school did not have the minimum number of students, it didn’t get a grade from the state. However, Arnow said the school received enough points that it would have been an “A” school if it had been graded.
McIntosh started a decade ago under the direction of Shirley Lane. At its peak, the McIntosh enrollment had reached just more than 100 students.
Enrollment can rise and fall significantly. The main reason is that when a fifth-grader moves on to middle school, parents often choose to move a younger sibling back into a mainstream public elementary school.
The charter school is free to anyone to attend, but there is no bus transportation to and from the campus, 20400 10th St., McIntosh.
Arnow said the school will also have a technology lab, and every classroom has several laptops for students to use.
This year, the School Board gave McIntosh Area School a 13-year charter school agreement. Normally, the agreement would be considered every five years.
Contact Joe Callahan at 867-4113 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at JoeOcalaNews.