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Modernization moves Miller ahead

Each member of the Community Oversight Committee for the

Expenditure of School Bond Proceeds has been asked to report on the

remodeling and construction that has been completed on our schools. I

chose to report on one of “my” schools -- Joaquin Miller Elementary

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School.

I attended Miller from 1938-1945. The only structure still

remaining of the original school is the auditorium. I am sincerely

pleased with the improvements at the school. The bond money has been

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well spent, and the project has come in under budget.

It has been known for many years that a positive and safe school

environment plays an important role in student achievement. The staff

and parents at Miller have worked hard over the years to increase

student achievement even though the school environment was marked by

overcrowding, inadequate playground space and below-standard

buildings and classrooms. We suffered during hot weather in

classrooms without air conditioning. By adding the Kindergarten

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School and movable classrooms to every available area on campus, we

managed to have a classroom space for every child, but we were still

dealing with an inadequate number of student bathrooms, outdated

office and teacher workspace, and a less-than-efficient cafeteria

area. We couldn’t help but conclude that all these factors were

negatively affecting our students’ achievement in school.

Modernization of the Miller school has changed all of this. Since

the completion of the two-story, 28-classroom addition in September

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1999 and, in September 2002, the near completion of the modernization

of the 1956 school buildings, the school environment at Miller has

changed dramatically. For example:

* With the addition of air-conditioning in all classroom and work

areas, staff and students are able to work comfortably each day with

no loss of instructional time, no matter what kind of weather we are

experiencing.

* Students have computer technology available to them every day

in their classrooms as a result of the three or four built-in

computer stations with access to the Internet and both color and

black and white printers.

* Students have, in addition to the grass and sand equipment, a

playground space big enough for two kickball games, a volleyball

court, four handball courts, four-square and tetherball areas -- all

of which were not available for years because of bungalow buildings

sitting on the playground.

* We have a beautifully designed amphitheater and quad area in

which the whole student population can gather for assemblies and

recognition events. Before modernization, we had only the auditorium,

built in the 1920s, with 210 seats in which to gather one grade level

at a time. This did not allow us any space for parent-student events

such as promotion, DARE graduation or school awards assemblies.

HENRY HUNT

Community Oversight

Committee Member


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