Early childhood screening takes place Tuesday, Wednesday


R.D. Hohenfeldt



Construction at the high school is going well, and response to preschool screening for the PUPS early childhood education program has been good.

In other words, the transition in the district reconfiguration is moving along smoothly.

That was the report from administrators Thursday night at the Rolla Board of Education meeting.

"Early childhood screening is the seventh and eighth (of this month)," Superintendent of Schools Dr. Aaron Zalis reminded the board. "We've got close to 100 registered."

There is still time to register for the screening that will be held Tuesday from 2-5 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at Greentree Christian Church.

To schedule an appointment, call 458-0100 or 458-0193.

All children who will be 4 years old on or before July 31 of this year are eligible for the screening.

"Forty of them have not had any preschool programming," Zalis said of the approximately 100 sign-ups for the screening.

Parents who sign up their youngsters for the screening should bring along, with the child, the child's immunization record, legal birth certificate and proof of residency in the school district (utility bill, lease/rental agreement or property tax statement).

The early childhood program was the impetus for the district reconfiguration. Early childhood education programming will begin in August for 4-year-old pupils. The classes for these children will be in the elementary schools, and to make room for them, the fourth grade will move to the middle school, changing its focus to that of an upper elementary school.

The seventh grade will move to the Rolla Junior High School for the August opening, and the ninth grade will move to the Rolla High School.

That move of the ninth grade necessitated additional classrooms at the high school, and construction is moving along.

"At the high school, we're on schedule," Assistant Superintendent Kelly Hinshaw said. "We've had nice weather. January's been pretty dry. It's been a good month to get thigns done."

The roof of the addition has been sealed, and part of the addition is ready to turn over to the flooring subcontractor, said Hinshaw as he presented a slide show of work that has been done.

Curbs and sidewalks will be installed soon, and the walk will include a Bulldog design.

Hinshaw said instructor Robert Studdard's cabinetmaking students will work on cabinetry for the addition.

"We hope to do something special in that lecture room," Hinshaw said. CORE has provided some funding.

There were no change orders presented at the meeting.

Hinshaw reiterated, "We are under budget and running ahead of schedule."

Changing the middle school into an upper elementary school has required the addition of a playground, and the equipment for that was ordered at the last meeting.

Thursday night, Hinshaw presented bids for mulch that will be used to make a safe surface for the area around the two playground sets and swings.

Phillips Pinewood Mulch, Raytown, had the low bid of $7,312.50, which the board approved.

That specialized mulch will be held in place by 12-inch PVC, Hinshaw said.

In related work on transitioning for the reconfiguration, Zalis said more planning would occur this week with the building principals.

Also, he noted that coaching positions have been posted for the 7th grade activities that will be added with the move of that grade from middle school to junior high.