Update on construction of new Laurel schools

By Rebecca J. Davis

After 10 years on the board and 28 years teaching, Laurel School Board member Harvey W. Hyland Jr. has decided not to seek reelection in order to take care of his ill wife. "I've thoroughly enjoyed working with the board," Hyland said. "Thank you, [the Laurel School District] has a great board and are for the kids."

Hyland was applauded by Superintendent John Ewald, the board and the audience. "It's been a pleasure working with [Mr. Hyland]," president Patrick Vanderslice said, "Laurel has benefited from having [Mr. Hyland] here."

Other topics discussed during the meeting were: the construction report, Project Lead the Way and the Language Immersion Program.

The construction report was given by Don Zook. "We're hoping to start putting in the foundation [for the new high/middle school] this week," Zook said, "One hundred fifteen of the 576 geothermal wells have been drilled [and] there have been no change orders this month." Zook also stated that a fly through animation of the new school has been placed on the school district's website.

Stage two of the building project: the planning of the new elementary school, was also discussed briefly. "We've received a lot of input," board member Brent Nichols said. "It's very positive and I'm very pleased." The construction of the new elementary school will be further discussed at the next board meeting.

The Project Lead the Way presentation was given by Project Lead the Way representative Glynnis O'Leary. "Project Lead the Way uses science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) to give students a modernized education," O'Leary said. "We partner with schools all over the country."

According to O'Leary, Project Lead the Way has three sections: Gateway to Technology for sixth to eighth grade, Pathway to Engineering for grades 8 to 12 and Biomedical Sciences for grades 8 to 12.

Lynn Fulton Archer of the Language Immersion Program, gave a presentation about the Delaware Language Immersion Program. She discussed how young children can easily learn a second language and become multilingual.

"It helps them meet a higher level of proficiency," Archer said, "And gives the students a world of advantage."

If the Delaware Language Immersion Program is implemented then the Laurel School district will receive funds for classroom materials and teacher recruitment for the program. Ewald shadowed a few students during his Superintendent's Days. These students, Myron Price, Tyanna Handy, Ivory Miller and Susie Ryan were awarded certificates of appreciation during the meeting.

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