Posts Tagged ‘facilities’

Facility Work

This week’s update is to provide information on work that we have completed at our buildings, and to give you a peak at what work is still on the horizon.  I am now in my 7th year at PTSC, and a lot of renovation has happened at our facilities!  Here are a few highlights:

  • New boilers and chillers at BGHS, PLE, BGMS, and BGE
  • New LED lighting at BGHS, BGMS, BGE, and PLE (we are finishing work now at BGHS)
  • New roof work at BGHS, BGMS, BGE, and PLE
  • New office expansion at PLE to create a safer entry
  • Parking lots repaved, milled, or sealed at BGHS, BGMS, BGE, and PLE
  • Updated flooring and finishings at PLE along with renovations to restrooms
  • New windows at PLE
  • Updated technology infrastructure at all buildings
  • Updated classroom heating and cooling at PLE, BGE, and BGMS

Work we are considering this summer:

  • We are still finishing projects started last summer at BGMS/BGE
  • Reconfiguration of the BGHS office space to utilize two classrooms that are currently under-utilized computer labs and transition them to a new front office space.  This new space will have a new exterior door which will be the way that all visitors and guests enter the building, directly into the office.
  • Solar installation at BGMS/BGE on the roof.  BGMS and BGE have NIPSCO as their utility company.  As you may have read, they are proposing substantial rate increases (we hear potentially impacting these two buildings by as much as 16%).  A solar installation would save us dollars the first year it is installed, and will continue to save the district dollars in utility bill expense.  Additionally, this adds the opportunity for us to teach students about another source of energy.
  • Central office repairs (this will likely be in future years):  you may notice that our central office is missing shingles at times as the roof needs repair.  We have additional issues in our technology hub in which we have trouble with heating and cooling, and water seepage.  The building also struggles with accessibility for some of our patrons due to door configuration which needs to be addressed.

 

The great news is that we have been fortunate to work to keep all of these projects tax neutral to the community (although if you have experienced an increase in assessed valuation of your property that means taxes go up, but not due to our projects).  Our buildings are aging and need repair and we have invested into the future with the work that has been completed.  We continue to keep our eyes toward the future with investments that will continue to benefit the district for years to come!

PTSC Standouts

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Wolves Cheer competed at the Hobart Invitational Cheer Competition and made a clean sweep! Both BGHS Cheer and BGMS Cheer took First Place/ Division Champions! They scored over many schools from our area. Thank you, Ladies, for represented PTSC well and for all of your hard work and dedication!

Do you have a standout to include in this section?  Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us to make sure your standout is included.  She counts on you to send her updates all can celebrate PTSC student accomplishments!

Important Dates:

    • March 13: Please join us as the Choir Department Presents:A Choral Tribute to Americana Music on Wednesday, March 13 at 7pm in the Boone Grove High School small gym.  The cost will be Adults $4 & Students & Kids $2.
    • March 14:  Early Learning Night at PLE from 4:30-6:00 pm  Each month we have an “Early Learning Time” where families are invited to come in for fun learning activities at our school. These learning times have themed activities for you to work on as a family.  Please come, meet the teachers, and see our school!  Please enter through the front “F” doors of Porter Lakes Elementary.
    • March 15:  End of Quarter 3
    • March 18:  Apple Controls for Parents–6:30 PM at BGMS  Come and learn all about what you can do through iOS and the controls Apple gives to parents to monitor and shape what kids do on devices!  This is going to be an awesome opportunity for all PTSC parents to learn more about the capabilities available!
    • March 19:  Ivy Tech Parent and Student Night at 5 pm
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    • March 20:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 25-29:  Spring Break–No School
    • April 11:  Early Learning Night at PLE from 4:30-6:00 pm  Each month we have an “Early Learning Time” where families are invited to come in for fun learning activities at our school. These learning times have themed activities for you to work on as a family.  Please come, meet the teachers, and see our school!  Please enter through the front “F” doors of Porter Lakes Elementary.
    • April 17:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • April 19:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • April 22:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • May 27:  Memorial Day–No School
    • May 29:  Last Student Day
    • May 31:  BGHS Graduation
  • Things to Know/Do:

    • Now hiring substitute teachers! Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
    • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates? Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
    • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start. If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.

Strategic Planning:  Facilities (Part 2)

This week I decided to use the weekly update to address some feedback I had following last week’s update on facility needs.  I will list a question and then an answer below in blue.  I have grouped similar questions together to allow for more succinct answers.

Question:

  • I am curious as to what is physically wrong with the office at PLE. It is functional and the camera’s and buzzer works just fine
  • I don’t understand why funding needs to go into fixing something that has nothing wrong with it. If it is not broken don’t fix it.
  • I’m not real sure that I understand the problem with the PLE office. It is functional and seems like it is in a good place. It is right there when you come into the building it is the first place besides the gym that you go to. Please explain more why it needs to be changes.

Answer:  Very true, the staff at PLE does an amazing job of monitoring the camera and buzzer and questioning folks prior to letting them enter the building.  However, once the door is buzzed open the issue is that a visitor may decide not to come straight to the office.  Folks entering the building can head to the gym or down a hallway to classrooms prior to ever stopping at the office, and this is a safety concern.  Having an office where visitors enter and cannot access the rest of the building is a much safer option for our students and staff and something that is a very high priority for us.  Our PLE staff does an amazing job at monitoring a visitor’s entrance into the building, but the office is a busy place and while addressing a student need time may pass before it is realized that the visitor did not come to the office.  This is not just a concern for me, but for our staff at PLE as well.  Safety is a priority to us, and so this is a concern.

Question:

  • Why not put the funding into something better like kids education and making sure every child is treated fairly and has a proper education.
  • How about putting the funding towards the teachers to teach them how to deal with children that have certain issues.
  • How about putting the funding to the teachers who need the money for classroom supplies instead of having them rely on parents that may or may not be able to buy them.

Answer:  

School funding is not drawn out of one big pot for every necessary expenditure.  There are many pots that the state uses to distribute funds, and specific purposes for the use of each fund.  All of these funds are greatly reduced.  We are currently functioning at the same funding level as we were 4 years ago even though costs have risen.  Some of our funding continues to be cut from the state–as is the case in our fund that is used to maintain our facilities.  The general fund is used to hire teachers, provide professional development, and to pay for supplies–and there is a section on this in our strategic plan.  However that section was not the focus of last week’s weekly update.  The facilities portion referred to in our strategic plan references a separate fund that is used to maintain, remodel, and renovate facilities.  Each fund has rules about how the money can be used.  The issues raised in the questions above are very important–but not ones we address with the money used for our facilities.

I appreciate the feedback–and hope that this provides some additional clarity!

PTSC Standouts:

500

Congratulations to Coach McKay as he celebrated his 500th Varsity game with a victory over Hobart.

Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us.

Important Dates:

  • All November and December:  A Night Out at Chili’s: PTO is sponsoring a Family Fundraiser at Chili’s for the entire month of November and December (no weekend or hour restrictions). You can visit Chili’s at the Merrillville or Valparaiso location and as long as you have the Chili’s voucher – this is a delicious way to help earn money for your school plus if you purchase a scrip Chili’s card you will earn an additional 11%! Vouchers will be coming home very soon – they will not be available at  Chili’s. Additional copies of voucher can be downloaded from the school website or the PTO Facebook page.
  • Now through December 19, 2014:  Take the Speak Up Survey.  You can access it at http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/.  Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues, particularly concerning 21st century education and technology.
  • November 19-December 16, 2014:  SAAC is hosting an Angel Tree, at the high school, from November 19th-December 16th. All donations will be delivered to the Porter County Career Center to be distributed amongst families in need. The Club is also collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. Pop bottle tab holders, donated by Bed Bath & Beyond, are available in the high school.
  • December 11, 2014:  Please join the Boone Grove High School sophomore class at their fundraiser. Come out to Chick-Fil-A in Merrillville by Southlake Mall on Thursday, December 11th from 5-7 pm. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the sophomore class. You must have the flyer with you in order for the sophomore class to benefit. We hope to see you there!Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.04.23 PM
  • December 13-14, 2014:  The Boone Grove Choir presents the Madrigal Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 13th and Sunday, Dec. 14th, at 2:00pm in the high school cafeteria.
  • December 22-January 2, 2014:  No School, Winter Break
  • January 5, 2015:  Classes resume
  • January 16, 2015:  End of 1st Semester
  • January 28, 2015:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • February 13, 2015:  Snow day make-up day or break day
  • February 16, 2015:  No School, Presidents Day
  • February 18, 2015:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • March 18, 2015:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • March 19, 2015:  End of 3rd Quarter
  • March 23-27, 2015:  Spring Break

Things to Know/Do:

    • Now hiring substitute teachers!  Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
    • Have you updated your account information in Instant Alert?  Make sure that you have your cell phone number and your email entered so that you will receive the latest updates we send out.  You can update your Instant Alert Account here.
    • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates?  Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
    • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start.  If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.
    • We are also looking for bus drivers to drive our extra-curricular runs.  If you are interested, please apply online.  It’s a great way to earn some money and attend extra-curricular events!

Strategic Planning:  Facilities

Last year we worked on building a strategic plan for PTSC.  Under the area of Finance and Operations one goal was as follows:

Goal Statement: PTSC will invest in our facilities and staff to optimize the quality of the learning environment and contribute to a safe and positive school climate.

When the committee worked to develop this goal, they landed on some specific areas of focus in looking at the learning environment and a safe and positive school climate–and that was at Porter Lakes Elementary School.

As you may know, Porter Lakes Elementary School is a wonderful building and has served PTSC well for many years.  Porter Lakes has not had any major renovations since it was built.  Additionally, with our focus on school safety, we must look at addressing the office location of the building.  The staff has done a terrific job with cameras, monitors, door buzzers, and vigilance in screening visitors but we must look at the layout of the office in the building.  Additionally, there are ways to increase energy efficiency that will lead to guaranteed savings for the district.

Right now we are asking the tough questions about how we can relocate the school office and increase energy efficiency for the building.  Watch for more updates to come as we work to tackle these issues!

PTSC Standouts:

Congratulations to Porter Lakes Elementary School as they collected 831 pounds of food in their food drive!  That’s awesome!

Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us.

Important Dates:

  • All November and December:  A Night Out at Chili’s: PTO is sponsoring a Family Fundraiser at Chili’s for the entire month of November and December (no weekend or hour restrictions). You can visit Chili’s at the Merrillville or Valparaiso location and as long as you have the Chili’s voucher – this is a delicious way to help earn money for your school plus if you purchase a scrip Chili’s card you will earn an additional 11%! Vouchers will be coming home very soon – they will not be available at  Chili’s. Additional copies of voucher can be downloaded from the school website or the PTO Facebook page.
  • Now through December 19, 2014:  Take the Speak Up Survey.  You can access it at http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/.  Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues, particularly concerning 21st century education and technology.
  • November 19-December 16, 2014:  SAAC is hosting an Angel Tree, at the high school, from November 19th-December 16th. All donations will be delivered to the Porter County Career Center to be distributed amongst families in need. The Club is also collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. Pop bottle tab holders, donated by Bed Bath & Beyond, are available in the high school.
  • December 5, 2014:  BGHS Homecoming.  The Homecoming Games will be played on Friday, Dec. 5th.  The Homecoming Semi-Formal Dance will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6th, from 7-11pm in the main gym.
  • December 5, 2014:  The Athletic Department and Winter Sports are hosting a Nelson’s Port-a-Pit Night!  *SAVE THE DATE: December 5th, 5-7:30PM, in the high school cafeteria. Invite friends and family for a fun night out! Come for dinner, basketball games, Homecoming festivities, and a raffle!
  • December 13-14, 2014:  The Boone Grove Choir presents the Madrigal Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 13th and Sunday, Dec. 14th, at 2:00pm in the high school cafeteria.
  • December 22-January 2, 2014:  No School, Winter Break
  • January 5, 2015:  Classes resume
  • January 16, 2015:  End of 1st Semester
  • January 28, 2015:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • February 13, 2015:  Snow day make-up day or break day
  • February 16, 2015:  No School, Presidents Day
  • February 18, 2015:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • March 18, 2015:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • March 19, 2015:  End of 3rd Quarter
  • March 23-27, 2015:  Spring Break

Things to Know/Do:

    • Now hiring substitute teachers!  Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
    • Have you updated your account information in Instant Alert?  Make sure that you have your cell phone number and your email entered so that you will receive the latest updates we send out.  You can update your Instant Alert Account here.
    • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates?  Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
    • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start.  If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.
    • We are also looking for bus drivers to drive our extra-curricular runs.  If you are interested, please apply online.  It’s a great way to earn some money and attend extra-curricular events!