Perry Task force committees that studied the use of space at Perry-Lecompton schools this week recommended new elementary grade configurations and a $1,005,000 addition at Perry-Lecompton High School.
The district currently operates four elementary schools Perry, Williamstown, Lecompton and Grantville each housing first through fifth grades. Kindergarten is at Perry and Lecompton.
Supt. Henry Murphy said the schools commonly hold classes with more than one grade level sharing a room. The number of students per classroom also varies, with the average first-grade class size ranging from 15 at Williamstown to 25 at Perry, he said.
"I guess the question is: Do we have an equal educational opportunity for all students?" he said.
THE ELEMENTARY task force, formed in September, was charged with finding a way "to better utilize all elementary buildings and provide equal educational opportunity for all students." At Monday's school board meeting, committee members presented two options.
The first would place all students in kindergarten through third grades from Williamstown and Lecompton at the Lecompton facility; those in grades four and five from the two communities would be placed at the Williamstown school; all students in grades kindergarten through third from Perry and Grantville would be placed at the Perry school; and those in grades four and five from the two towns would be placed at the Grantville building.
The second option would hold first through fourth grades at Williamstown and Grantville; kinderten through fourth at Lecompton; and kindergarten through fifth at Perry. All district fifth-graders would attend Perry Elementary School.
MEMBERS OF the secondary space task force also presented their findings at Monday's meeting. The group had met with faculty and staff at Perry-Lecompton High School and identified 17 specific space problems. Their proposal addressed the 12 needs that they felt affected the largest number of students.
The $1,005,000 proposal includes renovation of the administrative area, biology lab, computer classrooms, weight room and drafting area, and special services space; addition of a greenhouse, technology classroom, new library and four classrooms; an expanded kitchen storage area; and an enlarged stage.
Both committees comprised teachers, administrators, district patrons and board members.
Murphy said the school board probably will wait until the Legislature or the courts agree on a school financing formula before considering the task forces' recommendations. Public meetings also will be held before a decision is made, he said.
"It's an emotional issue for people in these communities," Murphy said.