Virginia School District Anticipates Growth, Starts Planning

By KBJR News 1

November 28, 2012 Updated Nov 28, 2012 at 11:39 PM CDT

Virginia, MN (NNCNOW.com) -The Virginia School District and the community are tackling the problem of over–large classroom sizes before they happen.

"The Virginia Public Schools are facing some very immediate, short–term problems related to space," said Senior Educational Planner, Tom Tapper, who is helping the district evaluate their current building for use by an increasing number of students.

The district says they're up 60 students this year and are expecting even more growth. That creates the problem of fitting the growing student population into classrooms that are already full.

"The important thing is are we meeting the academic needs of our students," said Superintendent Deron Stender.

Stender says class sizes and quality of education at the district are good right now. He intends to keep it that way.

"This district has made a commitment to keeping class sizes down," he said.

That's why the district created a Facility Task Force to find ways to deal with the growth.

The Task Force is made up of community members, students and architecture and planning company, Armstrong Torseth Skold & Rydeen Inc., the company at which Tapper works.

He'll take a look at the existing infrastructure and see what needs to be done to make sure that student education is the best it can be.

"We can kind of overlay the educational direction this administration and the community is going with the facilities themselves," said Tapper.

While expanding the school could be an option, right now the task force is looking at reevaluating their current classrooms.

"Maybe we need to repurpose them, restructure them, to accommodate our students and the growth that we're experiencing," said Stender.

The Task Force plans to have five meetings before taking their recommendations to the school board in March.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.