July 9, 2004
Small brown desks and tiny blue chairs are ready for 1,200 students who will attend two new Chandler elementary schools July 27.
Opening day at Hancock and Navarette elementary schools is expected to go more smoothly for teachers and students than in the past — despite a decision six months ago to build two 900-student schools rather than two 450-student buildings.
"We’re really following through with the dates they’ve given us," said Connie Hull, Hancock’s principal. "I think we’ve learned from past experiences."
Hull said she’s hoping to avoid the last-minute weekend rush schools undergo when opening. Toward this end, 75 parents have volunteered to unpack supplies next week.
Hull said all except her first- and second-grade teachers will begin preparing their classrooms Monday, the same day all new teachers begin preparing for the upcoming school year. Returning teachers don’t need to come back until the week of July 19. That means some teachers may have more of a scramble than others to prepare their rooms.
Furniture for the schools began arriving this week. Computers and phones will be installed next week.
Hull’s assistant, Suzanne Incorvaia, has manned the freshly painted front office as furniture is brought in daily. The cafeteria is ready to go — which means children won’t have to eat in classrooms as has happened during past school openings.
Navarette, just south of Basha High School, is surrounded by piles of dirt — landscaping will be the final touch.
The Arizona School Facilities Board originally ruled the district qualified for one school, and the district planned to use funds to build two 450-student schools in two areas where neighboring schools were overflowing with students.
But in December, the facilities board determined the district’s growth qualified for two 900-student schools.