EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

Rich County School District Seeks Bond Support

Nov 1, 2018, 6:40 PM | Updated: 6:55 pm

Laketown special needs preschool students meet twice a week on a portable stage, curtains closed, i...

Laketown special needs preschool students meet twice a week on a portable stage, curtains closed, in the lunchroom.

LAKETOWN, Utah – The number of special needs students has more than doubled in recent years in the Rich County School District, forcing administrators to come up with creative ways to make new learning spaces.

While the overall population of students in the district rarely sees any significant growth, a sharp increase in the number of special needs students has pushed school administrators to get creative in coming up with available spaces for those students to meet.

At the Laketown campus, which houses both an elementary and a middle school, special needs students get their one-on-one time at tables in hallways. They meet twice a week on a portable stage, with curtains closed, in the lunchroom.

“(It’s) just not conducive to education in my opinion,” said Kip Motta, principal of the two schools.

Motta said special needs classes have been held in the elementary wing.

“There’s that little stigma of middle school students having to go into the elementary,” said Motta. “We’re small but still, everybody knows this is the elementary hall.”

Rich County Schools Superintendent Dale Lamborn said the current improvised spaces also do not keep up with current ADA accessible standards.

“Our special needs population has grown significantly,” Lamborn said. “We just want to take care of that population as well as we can.”

The needs for improvements, as mapped out in a $8.5 million bond proposal, go beyond those issues. Motta said the science room at the middle school was outdated, and there’s no windows or ventilation.

“There’s no room for experiments. It has cold water, no hot water,” Motta said. “We can’t do the experiments to the level that we want to do expose our kids to the new middle school science core.”

Arts students from the middle school also have to be bused 20 miles to the Randolph campus for rehearsals and performances, to an auditorium that is also shared by the elementary and high schools.

The bond proposal also includes closing in the area between the elementary and high schools in Randolph, and creating a central, secured entryway. A new gymnasium would also be added to the middle school in Laketown.

“If it doesn’t pass, I’m not sure what we’ll do,” Lamborn said. “The board’s going to have some decisions there.”

More information is available on the Rich School District Bond page.

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Rich County School District Seeks Bond Support