School officials outlined procedures at a Wednesday night meeting for Fairfield Court Elementary students forced to relocate as the school’s roof continues to leak.
The 587 students at Fairfield will be bussed to Clark Springs Elementary for the remainder of the school year beginning after spring break. Students will have an extra day off on Friday as teachers move into Clark Springs classrooms -- the school has sat empty after being shuttered last June.
“I want to say I’m personally sorry for the situation we’re in,” Superintendent Dana Bedden said to a group of 50 parents and children.
Fairfield’s roof leak first disrupted classrooms in March, when a ceiling tile fell on a student. While a fix was scheduled to occur over spring break, a new leak forced officials to scramble for a new plan on Monday. Bedden said Clark Springs, which has already served as host to about 100 Fairfield students, is the best option until the roof can be fixed.
“Our goal is to make sure your children are in a safe and secure place next year,” Bedden said.
Parents expressed frustration that the roof had not been fixed sooner. School Board Chairman and Fairfield Court representative Don Coleman said the severity of the problem took the district by surprise.
Fairfield Court Community President LaLeta Fritz challenged Coleman on the timing of the relocation, saying students should have been moved earlier when the board realized the roof could not be fixed quickly.
“I hear you,” Coleman said. “We’re going to do our best to see things change.”
Coleman stressed that the board lacks control of how much money it’s given to spend. He invited the audience to attend the City Council’s April 14 budget hearing, where he said parents could make their case for more funding.
Meanwhile, Assistant Principal Ellena Ebanks pleaded with parents to stay positive or risk their children absorbing a negative attitude.
“If you tell them, ‘Things happen, we’re going to get through this,’ guess what? We’re going to get through this,” Ebanks said.