MANSFIELD -- Mansfield City Schools will expand use of its Springmill Learning Center by locating two kindergarten classes there for the 2016-17 school year while increasing regular visits by all students through sixth grade.
That announcement came at Tuesday night's board of education meeting. The district's stated goal is to add a grade level each year until the building is a full K-3 school. Six additional classrooms are available for eventual use.
"From 2011 to mid-2013, approximately $2.5 million was invested at Springmill by creating state-of-the-art science and math galleries, a bird study area and ropes course," superintendent Brian Garverick said. "However, the district's entry into fiscal emergency forced staff reductions in 2014 and a cutback on use of Springmill.
"Now that we are on track to be released from fiscal emergency later this year, we have an opportunity to begin recouping the community's investment in Springmill."
No additional teachers will be hired, the district stated. Two current kindergarten teachers will be reassigned to Springmill and each class will have 20 students. Administrative oversight will be provided by current personnel.
The district said the former gymnasium will be used for physical education but the ropes course will not be used. Food service will be provided on site and bus transportation will be developed.
"In addition to utilizing the math and science galleries to supplement classroom learning at Springmill, we will begin a more aggressive cycle of regular visits to Springmill by all of our students in kindergarten through sixth grade," Garverick said.
Children assigned to Springmill will be determined after kindergarten screening at Springmill May 18 and 19 and consultation with parents, the district stated. The Ohio State University Mansfield has located its Math Literacy Center at Springmill for the last two years. Terri Bucci, of OSU, has introduced math teaching concepts into elementary and intermediate grades through a partnership with district teachers.
"Dr. Bucci's continued presence at Springmill and the supplemental involvement of OSU education majors in her methods classes will only strengthen our development at Springmill," Garverick said. "We wil have more details to share over the summer as we work to restore full use of Springmill Learning Center."