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H.C. Storm parents continue to voice concerns

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 6:01 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:30 a.m. CST

BATAVIA – H.C. Storm Elementary School parents continue to raise concerns about changes proposed for the school, including using the art and music rooms as regular classroom space.

The school is at 305 N. Van Nortwick Ave., Batavia.

H.C. Storm Principal Timothy McDermott recently told parents that increased enrollment has led to space constraints, and the art and music rooms will be used as regular classroom space.

Art and music teachers will visit classrooms to provide instruction.

“I and several other parents wonder what happened to result in this overcrowding and why hasn’t it occurred at any other school,” H.C. Storm parent Ellen Knautz said in addressing Batavia School Board members on Tuesday. Other H.C. Storm parents voiced their concerns.

Knautz recently started a petition urging that Batavia School District 101 reconsider the changes.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 100 people have signed the petition at www.thepetitionsite.com.

Knautz has a child who will be in third grade at the school.

“We parents have not been assured that these changes at H.C. Storm will be limited to one year,” she told board members.

She is concerned the school’s art and music program will suffer because it will lose its specialized classrooms starting this fall.

Knautz noted that the other elementary schools in the district will have dedicated rooms for art and music.

“The art and music teachers at H.C. Storm cannot teach as effectively in student classrooms compared to rooms customized for their subject,” Knautz stated in her petition.

Knautz said any learning materials that are used will have to be portable.

McDermott also told parents of a summer construction project that will involve enclosing two pods at the school.

He said the newly configured spaces will be used by staff to provide interventions and enrichment for students.

Newly appointed Batavia School Board member Melanie Impastato said she was sympathetic to their concerns.

She has been named as a liaison to H.C. Storm School.

“I agree that the arts are very important,” Impastato told the parents. “You have a sympathetic ear.”

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