Exploris Elementary Update – 6.26.14

Greetings, Exploris Community:

I know that many of you are getting (or may already be) anxious about the coming school year and where Exploris might be in the process. I’m sorry if you have felt in the dark, but there has just been so much going on with closing out the school year and planning for the new one.

An article appeared in the N&O a couple weeks ago about Exploris and my hope was that it might reassure parents about the elementary school’s prospects.

To share where we are in the process, I’ll catch you up:

    • We reached an agreement with Gordon Smith to lease approx. 1.5 acres of his 8 acre parcel at the corner of New Bern and Swain St for a 2-3 year period.  The address will be 17 S. Swain St.  (We have a cross-access agreement to use more than the 1.5 acres for play and such.)
    • We were granted a variance by the Board of Adjustment to allow for gravel parking around the elementary property
    • The Site Review of city staffers has been completed and approved.
    • The 2 modular buildings are under the review of city staffers at this time.
    • Bid packages have been sent out to general contractors and are due on June 30th.  Exploris will award the contract for the site work next week (building permits are conditioned on having qualified contractors).
    • 8 elementary teachers, 2 teaching assistants, a school custodian, and an office manager have been hired (I’ll send out introductions and class lists by mid-July).
    • Three current Exploris teachers – Sonja McKay, Andrea Wallenbeck, and Jamie Butler have been working to finalize the elementary enrichment program including music, movement, art, and a very unique community engagement piece
    • Finalists for the Director of Operations position have been interviewed and an offer will be made next week.
    • A dedicated group of parents and staff has formed a “Welcome Wagon” committee and are planning some summer events to help new families connect with one other

With all of these afternoon showers, there is certainly the possibility that the school’s opening may be delayed for a week or two, but there is NO DOUBT – THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WILL OPEN THIS SCHOOL YEAR!  

It’s really too soon to say whether there might be a delay, but if/when the slightest chance of delay becomes apparent, families will be notified.  
While there is still much to do, everyone is humming with the excitement of this new endeavor, and we feel that we are right on course. I really appreciate all of your offers of help.  
As these buildings get set up, we will be sending out more frequent communications with ways that you might be able to get involved. In the meantime, please enjoy the summer and all that Raleigh and eastern N. Carolina has to offer.

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