It’s an exciting time for the students who will soon start school in two brand-new tax-bond supported buildings here in Teton Valley!
Over the next two weeks, teachers, staff, students and parents at Victor Elementary School and Driggs Elementary School will sort, pack, and move their existing classrooms. They’ll also be celebrating their new spaces and honoring the old ones.
OPEN HOUSES: The public will have a chance to see the new buildings before teachers move in and students start class. Two separate events are scheduled, on Tuesday, February 25, at Driggs Elementary, 265 LeGrand Pierre in Driggs, and on Wednesday, February 26, at Victor Elementary, 255 Elm Street in Victor.
Each night at the respective schools, a ribbon-cutting will take place at 7 p.m. and an open house runs from 7-8:30 p.m.
The public is encouraged to attend and celebrate with the school district, Headwaters Construction Company of Victor, the Construction Manager/General Contractor on all the projects, and GPC Architects of Driggs, the architectural firm that designed the new schools and renovations to four others.
SCHOOL CLOSURES: Both schools, but NONE of the others in the school district, will have non-student days on Thursday and Friday, February 27 and 28. Teachers and helpers will have four full days to make sure classrooms are ready for the first day of school on Monday, March 2.
The Teton School District Board of Trustees approved the closure at its meeting last Monday night, after hearing the monthly update on the construction projects from Superintendent Monte Woolstenhulme and Bryer Hastings of Headwaters.
The two days are part of each school’s allowance for weather-related or other emergency closures. While typically used for snow days, they can be used in other circumstances, too, like last year, when high numbers of students and staff were home sick.
WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW? A weather-caused delivery delay of furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) pushed the move to month’s end, rather than the target date over the long Presidents’ Day weekend.
The first five semi-trucks from vendor School Specialties rolled into Teton Valley on Feb. 10. They need two weeks to install all desks, chairs, bookshelves, etc.
The expense of new FF&E was built into the school bond, approved by nearly 80% of Teton County voters in November 2017.
HOW TO HELP: Each school needs a limited number of volunteers to assist teachers in packing up supplies and classroom materials on the two non-student days.
If interested in helping, please contact your child’s teacher or the respective school office to find out what time slots are available.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: On Monday, March 2, Victor students should report to the old school. Driggs students should go to the new building. Both schools will be dismissed from their new locations.
PLANS AND PROCEDURES: The principals have already emailed detailed plans and new procedures to all parents at their schools, in both English and Spanish; additional information is below. Families are encouraged to read these letters thoroughly and call their respective school with questions.
Some things will not change with the move, including phone and fax numbers. School times also remain the same, starting at 8:30 am and completing at 2:50 pm. (DES modified its end-of-day time this week, by five minutes, to allow families to adjust.)
TRAFFIC INFO: Drivers are encouraged to be patient as everyone adjusts to new traffic patterns; look for signs onsite. Each school has a designated Bus Loop, and a bus-only area to the east of each building. A Parent Loop, to be used for drop-offs and pick-ups, is on the north side of Driggs Elementary and on the south side of Victor Elementary. (The schools share design features but face the exact opposite direction.) Families are not allowed to drive through or park in the bus areas.
MAKING IT WORK: School administrators and staffs have been working very hard to ensure processes, procedures, and expectations are in place.
“We want to be sure our students and staff have a successful start in the new school!”, the principals’ letters stated, encouraging parents, staff, and students to be flexible. “As with any change, we will have to make adjustments in routines and processes as problems arise. We will communicate any changes.”
At VICTOR ELEMENTARY:
• On Monday, March 2, the first day after the move, students should FIRST go “as usual,” by bus or parent drop off, to the old VES building. There, students and staff will have breakfast together, hear the announcements one more time, and hold a good-bye ceremony. At 9:00 am, the entire school will be bussed to the new Victor Elementary building. Dismissal that afternoon will be from the new building.
• Tuesday, March 3 will be the first full day at the new VES! Students should be dropped off and picked up at their usual times but in the new location.
• Parents of children who currently walk to school should contact TSD Transportation Supervisor Kendall Jolley at (208) 228-5811 to make arrangements to be bussed from the old school to the new school.
• The Victor “Parent Loop” is on the Elm Street side of the building.
• The Victor “Bus Loop” is on Baseline Road.
• Victor Elementary phone numbers: School office: (208) 228-5829; school cell: (208) 399-2361; Fax: (208) 787-2245
At DRIGGS ELEMENTARY:
• An all-school, “Goodbye Old DES” Assembly, will take place at 2:30 pm in the gym on Wednesday, February 26.
• On Monday, March 2, the first day after the move, everything happens at the new Driggs Elementary; buses will run to and from there, and parents will drop off and pick up students there.
• The Driggs “Parent Loop” is the first entryway off LeGrand Pierre on the northwest side of the building.
• The Driggs “Bus Loop” enters from LeGrand Pierre onto the east side of the building.
• Driggs Elementary phone numbers: School office: (208) 228-5927; Fax: (208) 354-2336