Beavercreek names new schools to open next year

Trebein Elementary and Jacob Coy Middle to open next year.

Trebein Elementary School and Jacob Coy Middle School, which are under construction at the corner of Dayton-Xenia and Ankeney roads, are scheduled to open in August 2013. The schools are being paid for through an $84 million bond issue, passed in 2008.

Trebein was an early settlement in Beavercreek, and there was a Trebein School built in 1883 near the current intersection of Dayton-Xenia and Trebein roads. Jacob Coy, an early settler, allowed the first log schoolhouse in the area to be built on his land before Ohio became a state in 1803.

The names were chosen from among close to 100 submissions solicited from community members, staff and students.

“In recognizing the community of Trebein and the contributions of Coy, we pay tribute to early leaders who recognized the importance of education and made it a priority in their community,” said Al Nels, Beavercreek school board president.

The new schools and the subsequent redistricting, which is expected to be finalized next month and be put in place for the 2013-14 school year, are part of the district’s efforts to address steady enrollment growth.

According to report card data from the Ohio Department of Education, Beavercreek City Schools went from 6,540 students in 2000-01 to 7,571 students in 2010-11. During the 2008-09 school year, when the bond issue was passed, enrollment had spiked to 7,811 students.

As part of the redistricting plan, Ferguson Middle School will be renamed Ferguson Hall and will serve the district’s ninth-graders. There will continue to be two middle schools, and the district’s one high school would be for grades 10-12.

Julie Sanderson is the mother of five Beavercreek students and serves as PTO president at Ferguson Middle School. She said, as a member of the Beavercreek Historical Society, she was “thrilled” about the choice of names for the new schools, which three of her five kids should attend.

She also is looking forward to the increased space the new schools should provide. Although the new school year started Tuesday, Sanderson said she has seen evidence of the large class sizes many Beavercreek students may have this year.

“I didn’t realize there were a lot of students sitting on the floor,” she said. “We had about 60 students in a (music) classroom that had about 45 desks. This is why we need these new schools.”

Beavercreek Human Resources Director Deron Schwieterman said the beginning of any school year requires enrollment adjustments, but specific to this case was the fact that the music program continually draws large numbers of students. He said that space need will be addressed at the new middle school.

He added, however, that the new schools will not solve the classroom overcrowding issue.

“With the cuts we’ve made over the last couple of years, we do have some larger class sizes,” he said, adding that the students per classroom vary widely from elementary to high school. “Spreading out is not going to entail hiring a lot of new staff members. We’re going to be relocating students and staff to the new buildings, and will hire a few new staff.”

Schwieterman said Main is the largest elementary school, with an enrollment of around 950, and has at least six modular classrooms. Those modular classrooms, housed in trailers on school grounds, are employed at multiple Beavercreek campuses. Those classrooms will be able to move inside when the new buildings open.

“We have five elementaries’ worth of students that we’re going to redistrict into six elementaries,” he said. “We might grow a little bit next year, but we’re not going to grow by 30 classrooms.”

Schwieterman added that the district’s 6.7-mill operating levy, which would generate $10.9 million each year for five years, on the November ballot would put the district in a better position to add staff as instruction demands.

“We’ve not been successful with the levy the last three or four times,” Schwieterman said. “We’ve had to look at what program cuts to make. We’ve had an overall reduction of about 20 teachers in last two years, but enrollment has continued to grow.”

Schwieterman said the district plans to include a plaque at each of the new buildings to note the historical significance of their names, and will have an open house for these schools in the spring or summer.

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