Students squeeze into class in a portable building at Fort Meigs Elementary.
Fort Meigs Elementary fifth graders have to leave their portable classroom and walk about 20 yards to get back into the main building to wash their hands or use the restroom.
“It was horrible,” said Bailey Vogel about having to bundle up to get to the restroom.
She is in one of 20 Perrysburg Schools classes using a portable classroom, separate from the school.
Woodland Elementary has six portable classes, Fort Meigs has four, Frank Elementary has six, and Perrysburg Junior High School has six.
The district‘s increasing enrollment forced to use of portable classes, but if the board of education acts as expected, voters will be asked at an election, possibly in November, to approve tax levy to pay for a new fifth and sixth grade building which would eliminate the need for portables.
Bailey’s teacher, Jennifer Krueger, would appreciate having more space to teach.
“We could use a bigger space,” she said. “There have been some pesky challenges, because we are very active.”
Challenges include not having lockers. All students bags, piles of heavy jackets and clothes in the winter, and everything else has been stuffed in the corner of an already crowded room. Ms. Krueger said the classroom size is about 36 by 28 feet. That size leaves little room for the students plus science projects, activities, and student personal items.
“We get creative to make it work,” she said. “But we don‘t get quite as much in during the day though.”
The portables can take time away from class, such as recently when this class dissected an owl and then taking about 20 minutes for all of the students to go back to the main school building to wash their hands and then return to the portable classroom. There is no running water in the portables.
Principal Scott Best said the students enjoy their independence from the school, but said the greatest difficulty is inclement weather.
“In rain, students are sprinting in to get out of it, or [we are] reminding them to wear a coat when it is cold. It is a temporary fix.”
Another downside from a student’s perspective is being so close to recess.
“You hear everyone at recess,” Bailey said. “You get jealous, especially when taking a test.”
Her friend Hayden Kajfasz likes the portables because she said it is an “adventure.”
“It is a little cramped, but I still like it,” she said. “Thankfully, we had heat.”
Bailey said it feels like they are “king of the world,” separate from the other students.
Contact Matt Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.