Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 10, 2012

Greenwood touts new cafeteria for 2012

TAHLEQUAH — The start of a new year at Greenwood Elementary brings the completion of a new cafeteria for students and faculty to enjoy.

Principal Susan VanZant appreciates the community’s support for the project.

“We’re very grateful to the community for supporting the bond issue for the cafeteria,” said VanZant.

The old cafeteria was too small, she said, but the new facility will provide adequate room for feeding the Greenwood Elementary family. No long-term plans have been developed for the old cafeteria space, but for now, teachers and staff at Greenwood may find temporary uses for it.

“Maybe big group activities with teachers, or the music teacher may use it for some performing arts classes for now,” said VanZant.

School for students begins Wednesday, Aug. 15, with breakfast beginning at 7:15 a.m. in the new cafeteria on the east side of the school. Breakfasts cost $1 per student, and lunches will cost $2.

Students who have already eaten breakfast when they arrive can choose to wait in the gymnasium, computer lab, or the cafeteria. Classes will begin at 8:10 a.m.

Buses will make dropoffs and pickups on the north side of the school.

“Parents drop off in the front, on the south side,” said VanZant. “If your child is eating breakfast, you’ll need to drop off at the new cafeteria. You would enter from the far east Ross Street entrance. Others continue to drop off at the main entrance, on Ross Street – the western entrance on Ross Street. There can be no car traffic on the north side where buses are dropping off.”

Parent pickup will also all be at the front of the school off of Ross Street, when school lets out at 3:10 p.m. VanZant said parents should watch for take-home notes, or phone calls or text messages through the School Messenger system for any changes.

“The main entrance will be the only entrance open during the day,” said VanZant. “After breakfast, the cafeteria will be locked. And all children must be checked out through the main office [if leaving school early]. Anyone you think may have a need to pick up your child, please put them on the list; otherwise, we will require a call from you.”

VanZant said those who pick up students should stay in their cars during the after-school process.

“It’s very important that you remain in your car. It keeps the flow moving quickly, and it’s also a safety issue for students, to prevent dangerous situations of crossing in front of traffic,” she said.

If a student needs to change his or her method of transportation, school officials must be notified as soon as possible.

“Please call the office before 2 p.m.,” said VanZant. “It’s very difficult when everyone calls in at exactly 3 p.m. Either call before 2, or send a note to your child’s teacher. Students will not be allowed to use any other transportation unless we have a note or a call. We’re not going to take the child’s word for it.”

VanZant said any student who arrives after the 8:10 a.m. bell rings will have to get a tardy slip.

“Attendance is the No. 1 factor in a child’s progress in school. They have to be here to learn, so it is important. And call the office if your child is absent. That will save you from getting a robo-call,” said VanZant.

All students should be picked up no later than 3:25 p.m. after school, except those who participate in the Boys & Girls Club.

It’s also important for the school to have working telephone numbers for parents and their emergency contacts.

Any changes to student information can be made at Greenwood’s front office or the board of education office on Water Avenue.

“For students who have medication, all medication should be given to our school nurse,” said VanZant.  There are forms parents must sign giving us permission to dispense medication, so please see the school nurse the night of summer social on Aug. 13, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Also, please make sure if you are short of any immunizations that those are complete before your child starts school.”

Boys & Girls Club programs will be up and running on the first day of school for those who are approved to participate.

VanZant also hopes parents will be patient as the entire district adapts to myriad changes, including the new bus routes and zoning methods.

“It’s a big change,” said VanZant. “We’re very excited about the new faces and new students.”

Teachers throughout the year will be adapting to the state’s Common Core standards, which include adapting common lessons.

VanZant said Greenwood will be working with a math consultant and a math coach to help implement Common Core skills in that arena.

“If there are any needs, please contact the office or your child’s teacher, and we will find resources to help you,” she said.

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