Coon Rapids - Bayard is working to get an addition that will provide new classrooms for pre-kindergarten through second grades completed before school starts. This room will be used as a cafeteria and as a place for moving activities for the younger students.&nbsp; <span style="font-size: xx-small;"><em>Daily Times Herald photo by Paige Godden</em></span>
Coon Rapids - Bayard is working to get an addition that will provide new classrooms for pre-kindergarten through second grades completed before school starts. This room will be used as a cafeteria and as a place for moving activities for the younger students.  Daily Times Herald photo by Paige Godden
Tuesday, August 7, 2012

COON RAPIDS — Coon Rapids-Bayard School District is getting ready for a new school year with a new high school principal and new classrooms for pre-kindergarten through second grade.

Brent Jorth will begin his first year as principal for seventh through 12th grades.

Jorth is from Joyce and attended school in Lake Mills.

He said part of what attracted him to Coon Rapids is that the town is similar to where he grew up.

Jorth received his associate of arts degree at Waldorf Community College, his bachelor of science degree in history at Iowa State University and his master’s degree in education leadership from Drake University.

He taught social studies for two years at Baxter, five years at Van Meter and two years at Indianola High School. He also was boys golf coach during his two years in Indianola.

Jorth’s first day at Coon Rapids-Bayard was July 16. He said he’s had to deal with quite a few changes in making the transition from teacher to principal.

Jorth said he used to teach one course and all he had to worry about is himself getting his job done.

He said he now has to attend several meetings and make sure every teacher and staff person is being as efficient as possible.

Jorth said he’s excited to begin the school year and has already seen quite a few kids in the building including students attending volleyball camp and football practices.

He said he’s also looking forward to the opening of the pre-kindergarten through second-grade addition that has been added onto the school’s main building.

Jorth and his wife, Amanda, have a daughter, Lily, 4, who will be entering prekindergarten, and a son, Ben, 2. Amanda works from home in Coon Rapids in human resources for American Enterprise Insurance of Des Moines. She’s a native of Coon Rapids, Minn., a Minneapolis suburb.

With the Coon Rapids-Bayard building addition, this is the first time the district will all be in one site, a measure that superintendent Rich Stoffers said will save the district between $50,000 and $60,000.

Stoffers said the savings will come through utilities and electric bills and transportation of students.

The students were being bused back and forth for different classes and for use of the gymnasiums.

Coon Rapids-Bayard projects total enrollment of 410 for the 2012-13 year. That includes: 34 students in prekindergarten/Head Start (CR-B and Community Opportunities share the Head Start program), 30 students in one section of kindergarten, 30 students in one section of first grade and 22 students in one section of second grade. The 40 third-graders will have two classrooms in the existing intermediate school building (constructed in 2003 for fourth through sixth grades). Fifth-graders will move to the eat wing and will be adjacent to sixth-grade classrooms.

The new addition,  named Coon Rapids-Bayard Elementary School, and the move also allow a consolidation of services, Stoffers said.

The addition will give students state-of-the-art technology.

Jorth said there will be smart boards in every room and Wi-Fi is being set up in the new building, which will also allow the older portions of the building to have Wi-Fi access.

The school will receive 120 new computers from a REACT grant through Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for elementary kids,” Jorth said. “There’s not going to be better classrooms in the state.”

Stoffers said the addition will be very practical. He said every square foot in the addition will be put to use.

Stoffers adds, “The CR-B Elementary is a remarkable 21st-century, state-of-the art building that allows our staff to integrate technologies, innovative methods and engaging strategies to meet the needs of our diverse population. We believe there are not only many wide-ranging educational benefits for our primary students to be at one site, but also for our intermediate and junior high-senior high students as well.

“The district and the community made the choice 2½ years ago to be proactive about the stability of our district and do what we could to become as efficient and as effective with our staffing, our programs, our time and schedules, and in general-fund savings as possible. By closing the 1956 Deal Elementary building, we also save on utilities and transportation. With our district dealing with declining-enrollment issues, we didn’t want to overbuild, but we had not choice but to do what we could to decrease general-fund expenditures.”

The $3.1 million building project is being bonded over 18½ years out of SAVE (Secure Advanced Vision for Education) sales-tax dollars.

Jorth said plans call for a celebration of the new addition during open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21. There also will be a volleyball triangular that night.

Stoffers also mentioned that the school district will introduce a new website. It will be the same website address but with a new look.

Coon Rapids-Bayard staff will also have new email addresses. The addresses will end in @crbcrusaders.org.