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Part One: One campus solidifies theme, 'We Are One: Growing in Christ'

This is a three-part feature informing the student body how the union of the school came about, and what was required of the the administration, the faculty and the students so that the move was finalized. As the first part focuses mainly on the effects of the North East Campus move to the Peoples Church campus, the next part will feature the move of the 6th grade class to Building Six.

For the first time in the school’s history, the entire school, including the North East Campus, has joined together with the rest of the students at Peoples Church, allowing the school to unite together in one location.

This idea of one campus has been known to the administration for some time, and was announced as a possibility at the end of last school year. After several meetings with organizations affiliated with the move, including Peoples Church, which holds 3rd through 12th grade, the move was confirmed and set for the 2013-’14 school year.

Superintendent Debbie Siebert was aware this summer that the North East Campus, which includes kindergarten through second grade, would have the opportunity to move this school year to Peoples Campus. Afterwards Siebert met with the Peoples Church administration to consider the options for the all campus move.

“We have been working on consolidating the elementary school for a number of years and last year that desire became a possibility,” Siebert said. “I met early in the year with Peoples Church administration to discuss our options.”

Siebert discussed the options with Peoples Church throughout the end of the last school year and this summer. Peoples Church was able to propose an agreement that would serve the school and the church’s ministries well.

“We {Peoples Church and Siebert} continued our dialogue throughout the school year and into the summer seeking the best outcome for all the ministries served on this campus,” Siebert said. “It was a wonderful experience working together with everyone concerned and to have our entire program welcomed with open arms.”

Second grade teacher Denise Tally was notified of the possibility of the move, along with other faculty at the end of the 2012-’13 school year. Tally packed her materials up, aware of the move.

“We were aware of the potential move right before the end of the ’12-’13 school year,” Tally said. “We were advised to pack up our classrooms at North East Campus and wait for the Peoples Church council to approve or disapprove the move.”

The move from the North East Campus to Peoples Campus consisted of moving class materials and furniture. The new rooms were bigger, but because of the required tables, the upgrade in space was not that significant.

“The only adjustments in the classroom environment that were needed was reappointing all of our “stuff” in it’s new place,” Tally said. “The room was bigger, however, the kind of tables we needed to use negated the extra space for my classroom.”

Siebert is grateful for the school’s community help, including everyone who has been affiliated with the school in the past or present.

“Moving the campus was a huge undertaking but doable because of the willingness of so many to help,” Siebert said. “Staff, staff family members, alumni, students, parents and friends all played a part.”

Principal Todd Bennett has also been a part of coordinating the move and helping Siebert with decisions the school has come to. With the possibility of the move, both have taken time to agree upon the objective of the move and the way it could play out.

“Moving all FC students to one campus has been a goal for quite some time,” Bennett said. “Last year, Mrs. {Debbie} Siebert and I started talking about it at length, discussing the pros and cons of making the move this year, and developing several variations of what it would look like.”

Siebert considers the solidification of the two campuses, as an opportunity for all the students. The unity provides the flexibility of growth with in the elementary grades, and the availability of more leadership within the junior high and high school students.

“The consolidation has made it possible for us to have a kindergarten through third grade primary focus and a fourth through sixth grade upper elementary focus,” Siebert said. “I am looking forward to the implementation of plans junior high and high school have to serve elementary in mentoring activities and chapel. Being in one location makes these kinds of relationships possible.”

Tally confirms the aftermath of the move to be beneficial with brand new resources and partnership with other teachers.

“The collaboration that teachers have with one another is usually done with those grade levels most similar to you, so up to this point that part hasn’t changed. However, as we become more familiar, there will be opportunities with older students to assist with the younger ones,” Tally said. “This cross over will be very beneficial for all. That part is very exciting.”

Second grade student Andres Fierro enjoys playing in a bigger playground, as well as seeing his older brother from time to time during the school day.

“I really like this campus because there is more playground area than on the other campus,” Fierro said. “It’s exciting to see the older kids during recesses and I also get to see my brother.”

Siebert is thankful for the group effort of school family and what affects the union of campuses will offer. She is pleased with the partnerships that the school has coordinated with Peoples Church and is looking forward to the years ahead.

“We {the school} all appreciate being together on one campus. Having lunch together, praying together, brainstorming new ideas together has been long awaited,” Siebert said. “We are so grateful to Peoples Church for their partnership with our school by providing such a beautiful facility for our program and for the loving, cooperation of all the ministries served on this site.”

The author can be reached via Twitter: @rynnking. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

Check The Feather’s twitter to be notified when the next part of this article will be published.

For more features, read the August 30 article, Greek Fest opens doors to cultural experience.

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