Goshen News, Goshen, IN

October 29, 2013

Prairie View Elementary's driveway in need of repair

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — GOSHEN — Members of the Goshen Board of School Trustees were informed Monday that the driveway at Prairie View Elementary School has some deterioration issues.

According to Business Manager Jerry Hawkins, when the building was designed it was decided to have all buses use the back of the building.

“This area was prepared with that demand in mind,” Hawkins said. “ When the front drive was prepared it was with the understanding that traffic would primarily be cars so the base was not as thick.”

Later, a decision was made to move all buses to the front and have parents load from the back.

“This has created an issue on the condition of the drive,” Hawkins said.

The bus traffic has been returned to the rear of the building and parents now load in the front again.

“We have patched areas in the driveway, and it’s OK for now,” Hawkins said, “but the deterioration is getting worse and may need some significant repairs in the future.”

In other business, Merit Learning Center Principal Kristen Watt told board members that Merit completed an extensive evaluation and visit by AdvancEd, an accrediting agency.

AdvancEd insists on a relentless pursuit of excellence, she said.

“We received some of the highest scores possible in some areas, and received a recommendation for full accreditation,” Watt said. “Accreditation is designed to help educational institutions boost their ongoing performance efforts. Accreditation matters because our students deserve the highest level of educational excellence possible.”

Watt said schools like Merit that have established the highest academic standards, have a measurable vision/mission, and are able to demonstrate continuous improvement through student achievement.

“We are excited and it’s a great accomplishment for Merit,” said GCS Superintendent Diane Woodworth.

Watt said some students at Merit were  so disengaged that the average number of credits earned per semester was less than two before she became principal eight years ago.

“It was not uncommon for us to have 10 to 12 students asleep within the first 15 minutes of class time,” she said.

Since Merit has been involved in accountability, TAP and striving for excellence in monitoring data and student work, “we are excited to be part of the journey of excellence for our staff and students,” Watt said.

“We are proud of the outstanding recommendation we received for full accreditation.”