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To free up space, the preschool class at Lakewood Elementary School is moving to Sonora's Creekside Elementary School next school year.
Lakewood has become overcrowded because of families moving to that area from the Base Realignment and Closure transition. The school and Hardin County Schools administration began looking at ways to open up space at the end of last year.
The school in Stephensburg is using the teacher’s lounge as a classroom and the music teacher no longer has a classroom, said Carlena Sheeran, director of early childhood education.
“They’ve used every inch of space they have in that building,” Sheeran said.
Lakewood has a projected enrollment for next school year of 646, including 30 preschool students, said Bobby Lewis, associate superintendent for student services. The school is built for 600 students. Relocating the preschool will move the school closer to capacity and free a classroom, he said.
Only a few students at Lakewood’s preschool will have to move, as most will be new students, Lewis said, which is one reason the district chose on this solution.
Sheeran said the district plans for the move to be temporary and it hopes to bring the preschool back to Lakewood. Sheeran said the district prefers for preschool classes to be with the home schools.
“It’s not something we want, it’s not something we advocate,” she said of separating the preschool from other grades.
Creekside has an open preschool room, and the Lakewood preschool and assistants will move there next year, too. Sheeran said she hopes this will cut down on the impact of changes for students. She said that Lakewood and Creekside are similarly structured should help as well.
Some parents are upset about the move. Lauren Cornelius has a daughter in Lakewood preschool, and she does not like that her daughter will not be as close to her during the day, because she has some health issues.
“She’s farther away from me than she is when she’s down here at Lakewood,” she said.
Parent David Givan is troubled by the possibility of a longer bus ride for his son, and that his son has become attached to Lakewood.
“He loves that school,” he said.
Sheeran said the district is working to make sure bus rides are kept in check by allowing some students to go to preschool at Howevalley Elementary School if it’s closer.
The move puts Lakewood in a similar position as the elementary schools in the northern end of the county, which have their preschool and kindergarten classes at North Park Elementary School. This was done to open space at the four elementary schools in Radcliff and Vine Grove so they could house more students coming in because of BRAC.
Along with moving the preschool, students who are out of Lakewood’s district but are attending school there, which is allowed if the school is below 95 percent capacity, will be moved now that Lakewood has exceeded capacity, Lewis said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.