Fifth and sixth graders at Archbishop Bergan Catholic School will soon have classes inside a portable classroom due to increasing enrollment.
The portable classroom is still undergoing preparations, but will soon be ready for the students at the elementary school, Principal Dan Koenig said.
“It takes time to make these things happen,” he said. “They’re not just move-in ready, you got to do a few things to make sure they’re ready to go.”
Although its elementary school was built to be a building for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, Bergan made the decision to keep sixth graders after discussions with the board of education and parents.
Bergan Elementary School currently uses a rotating classroom model in which grades five and six are taught by four teachers with two subject areas each, similar to that of a middle school, Koenig said.
“We turned into our art room into a sixth grade traveling classroom, and so therefore, we still needed another classroom,” he said. “And so we worked through the system and got ourselves into a situation where we could put a portable classroom on the backside of Bergan Elementary School, and that’s currently what we are in the middle of getting up and running.”
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Between the four teachers, one teaches science and social studies, one teaches reading and theology and another teaches writing, grammar and theology. The last teacher, who teaches math and integrated social studies, will be stationed in the portable classroom, Koenig said.
Koenig said the portable classroom is a “short-term solution” for the next few years. Bergan recently completed its “One Community, One Faith, One Future” capital campaign, which aimed to eliminate debt with the elementary school.
The school now plans to launch the next part of the campaign over the next three years before building a middle school onto Bergan Elementary School, Koenig said.
“We hope that the current portable situation will be just around a six-year band-aid to try to get us through until we go through another campaign and get to the point where then we can build on grades six, seven and eight onto Bergan Elementary School,” he said.
Although he said the portable classroom looks rough now, Koenig said it will be soon be ready and doesn’t plan to move it until construction begins.
“It’s got all the amenities that any other classroom would have,” he said. Students just have to walk 12 paces outside and they’re in the classroom.”