Community Education Relocates to Bates: The Who, What, Where, When and Why of the Move

The offices of Community Education recently relocated to Bates (2704 Baker Road), the first district department to move into the re-purposed building. Numerous classrooms have been refitted for Community Education programs, with considerable space available for future program expansion and additional district use.

Community Education Director David Teddy and a portion of his staff – Administrative Assistant Jill Breitag and Program Coordinator Jon Keith – have moved into the front offices of Bates, which are easily accessible to the community. Aftercare Manager Paula Stabeler has a conveniently-located office in the wing of the building dedicated to the Aftercare program.

Other Community Education staff members will remain in their current locations. Dave Gendernalik, Aquatics Manager responsible for the community pool facilities, will continue to be based out of the Wylie building. The offices of the Jenkins Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) administrative staff, Assistant Director Gina Benson and Administrative Assistant Carla Wilson, will remain in the Jenkins building.

The move to Bates provides Community Education with a centralized location within the district campus, which is important for programs such as Aftercare. Pick up from Aftercare will be easier for parents as the building’s entrance and exit driveways are accessed right off Baker Road. Students from Anchor, Beacon and Wylie will continue to be met by Aftercare staff at their respective schools and walk to Bates after school. Creekside Aftercare students will be bused to the bus hub after school so they do not have to cross Baker Road.

Relocating Aftercare to Bates provides the program with much more space, allowing for increased enrollment. In the 2018-2019 school year, approximately 125 students were enrolled in the after-school care program based at Wylie Elementary with 90-100 in attendance on any given day. Six classrooms at Bates have been designated for Aftercare for the 2019-2020 school year, and enrollment is up to around 140 students so far, with 120 expected for certain days. Students will have full access to the gym, cafeteria and playground at Bates, with no worry of being relocated due to a conflicting event. The move also frees up space at Wylie, giving the school more availability for their own programming.

With increased space and the capacity to expand as needed in the future, the Aftercare program has the opportunity to provide more activities for their students. Director David Teddy shared that a future idea may be to offer Community Education classes specifically for Aftercare students, such as Mad Science or an art class.

Jenkins ECLC is also benefiting from the new space provided by Bates. The biggest demand at Jenkins (and nation-wide) is infant care, and there has been a waiting list of Dexter families for several years. By repurposing several of the Bates classrooms, Jenkins has moved all half-day preschool classes to Bates, freeing up space at Jenkins for a new infant room in the 2019-2020 school year. The half-day preschool teachers have worked hard during the last few weeks of school moving their classrooms to the new location, and all are ready to go for the start of school in September.

In addition to the new infant room, Jenkins will increase the capacity of their current infant rooms to twelve students, the maximum allowed by the state. The teacher to student ratio will remain the same at one teacher for every four students. With these changes, Jenkins hopes to alleviate the number of families on their waiting list.

Jenkins is also opening a new Young 3’s classroom in their current location this fall. Young 3’s is a new full-day program for children who are 2 years and 6 months by August 26, 2019. In addition to this program, all other full-day preschool programs will continue to be housed in the Jenkins building.

The Bates building is also the new home of the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program, which services three- and four-year-old students with identified needs. The ECSE program will have two dedicated rooms in the building, one regular classroom and one designated as a motor room.

Community Education will utilize rooms at Bates for some of their adult education and enrichment programs. Currently, dog training and yoga classes are held in the building, with room for other evening classes which will not interfere with programs scheduled during school hours. Space in the Bates building also continues to be available for community rental.

Director David Teddy shared that he is very appreciative of the huge effort by the Building and Grounds staff in cleaning and preparing Bates for the incoming Community Education programs. They deep cleaned the building from top to bottom and did a wonderful job.

Community Education is happy to have this new space in which to house and manage their programs. The Bates building is quiet and easily accessible to the public, allowing staff to serve the community with greater ease and efficiency.

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