Bristow Public Schools have more kindergarten students this year thanks to a larger building.
The new pre-K center was built under a $ 6 million bond passed in 2019. The new building has eight classrooms, four of which are storm shelters that can accommodate over 500 people.
âPreviously a few of our rooms were very small and they like it a lot more because they can do more things with the kids than they could before,â said Keli Schonfield, Bristow Pre- teacher. K.
Schonfield has been teaching with Bristow Public Schools for 17 years now. She said this new building is a major improvement over the old one because there is a lot more space.
âChildren can move and play more easily and we can do a lot more of our active learning activities because they can stretch out and move more,â said Schonfield.
The old building could only accommodate 80 pre-K students and the new building can accommodate up to 160. With a $ 6 million bond and community donations, the district is now able to have five pre-K classes instead of four.
âWe had four classes of 20 kids each and they had to share two very small bathrooms,â said Debbie Ponder, principal of Edison Elementary School.
The new building has two large bathrooms and then individual smaller bathrooms in each classroom as well as additional storage space. They also have two active learning labs and four of the classrooms can be used as storm shelters.
âWe can fit the entire Edison school, which has about 480 children, and then some 50 adults, into this storm safety zone, so it’s a huge relief that we can do that now if the bad weather getting ready, âPonder said.
Pre-Kindergarten is not a compulsory year for students, but Ponder said it is an important year. She said this extra space will help the students go far.
âWhen you go into the classroom you don’t see desks, they aren’t sitting at desks, but they learn by building with Legos, by playing in the dollhouse, they learn skills that they will be able for the rest of their school years, âPonder said.
The district previously used its college and career center on the high school campus as a community storm shelter, but instead they will be using these classrooms in Edison because they are more central.