Thursday, July 07, 2011

Two hundred attend East Middle School PTO get-together at MSSU

The East Middle School family held its first meeting since an EF-5 tornado cut a swath through the heart of the area May 22.

Principal Mr. Bud Sexson showed plans for the temporary East Middle School, which will open its doors when school begins Wednesday, Aug. 17.

Though the warehouse facility was originally designed as a spec building by the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Sexson stressed, "This will not be a warehouse, this will be a school."

Mr. Sexson gave a brief overview of the facility, showing a diagram of where classes will be held. Among the information presented at the get-together:

-The classes will be about 700 square feet, a couple of hundred feet less than at East, but considerably more than in the old South Middle School.

-The building will not have computer labs, but more mobile I-carts with classroom sets of computers will be available.

-The gym/physical education facility will be in a building outside of the school, but will a canopy available to keep students from being exposed to the elements.

-Basketball and volleyball practices will be held at East, but basketball games will be scheduled at the other middle schools. Mr. Sexson said he did not know yet whether volleyball matches will be held at East. Football games and practices will be held at other Joplin middle schools.

-The district will provide busing for students attending after-school activities. The students will be dropped off at their elementary feeder schools. Adjustments will likely be made for those who have had to move because of the tornado.

-Certified FEMA safe rooms will be available in case of tornadic activity. When East is rebuilt or repaired, Mr. Sexson said, the facility will have a safe area.

-More after-school activities will be added this year, depending on the students' interest.

-The lockers used at East Middle School will be removed and transplanted to the new facility.

Among other items brought up at the meeting:

-A picnic will be held Aug. 11 at Landreth Park for the East Middle School family.

-Mr. Sexson introduced new Assistant Principal Mr. Jason Weaver. Mr. Weaver has taught seventh grade history at South and East for the past decade.

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