GIRARD Classes resume; pupils relocate

Crews transferred equipment from Girard Intermediate School to Tod Woods.
GIRARD -- Pupils who usually attend the now-closed Girard Intermediate School returned to classes this morning in two other buildings.
Fourth- and fifth-graders were in 14 classrooms at Tod Woods school, and sixth-graders were in seven classes at the junior high school.
Tod Woods had served as the district's intermediate facility until last fall -- when the new intermediate school was opened to replace it.
School officials decided to close Girard Intermediate because of unexplained illnesses of pupils and staff.
Tod Woods had been closed because of its age -- it was built in 1919 -- and because it became too small and is going to be close to a proposed highway.
Betsy Heckman of South Randolph Avenue, a fifth-grader, said this morning that she was anxious to return to classes at Tod Woods.
During her week off school, Betsy said she kept up on her reading lessons and helped her mother take care of her seven sisters and a brother.
She explained that she liked Girard Intermediate, though there are health issues.
Crossing guard: Linda Cross of Plymouth Avenue not only brought her son, fourth-grader Tyler Adams to Tod Woods, but made sure he and other pupils walking to school were safe. Cross is the crossing guard at Trumbull Avenue and Dearborn Street next to Tod Woods.
"I'm glad were back; I like this job," said Cross, who lost it last year when the building became vacant.
Cross said the changing of buildings isn't an inconvenience because she lives a few blocks from Tod Woods.
"I'm glad they could open it up so she could finish the year," said Robin Butcher of Warren, who dropped off her stepdaughter, fifth-grader Jessica Butcher.
Praise for principal: When Joel Crook of North Highland Avenue dropped off his son, fifth-grader Adam Cook, he lauded the efforts of principal Robert Foley, who had earlier carried his secretary's typewriter into the building.
"He stepped up to the plate. He could have blown it off" by not having classes at alternative buildings for the remainder of the school year, Crook said.
It's a longer drive to Tod Woods for Joe Workman of Niles, who took stepdaughter Allysha Percy, a fifth-grader, to school.
"She's glad to be back. She's the type that doesn't like to miss school," Workman added.
Thursday, Prospect Elementary School was reopened after a week with 35 percent of 537 pupils absent in a building that normally has low absenteeism.
Prospect was sealed off from the attached Girard Intermediate.
Crews worked until Thursday night to get all the equipment from Girard Intermediate to Tod Woods. The move into the junior high had already been made.
"This is a sad way to end the year, but we'll make it work," said fifth-grade teacher Christine Notareschi, Girard Teachers Association intermediate school representative.
"We will make it right for these students," the math and science teacher said. "We're committed to that."
Notareschi said that although she physically feels better when out of Girard Intermediate, teachers are nonetheless proud of it.
"We packed up and shed tears," she commented.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.