Westside schools:
Read-a-Thon raising $ for new BV classes

       Seeking ways to pay for a growing school, the Buena Vista Montessori PTA hopes to earn up to $20,000 from its “Read-a-thon” Friday, Jan. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m.
       That ambitious dollar amount could be achieved if each of the 225 students at Buena Vista can raise close to $100 in pledges, according to parent volunteer Kristen Downs.
       The PTA purpose is to fund two new classrooms in the 2012-13 school year: a fourth lower elementary (age 6-9) and a second upper elementary (age 9-12).
       About $60,000 in all is needed to purchase classroom materials. The amount is based on a “ballpark” estimate of $30,000 to outfit a Montessori classroom, Downs said.
       “Montessori materials are expensive, but it is just a one-time expense,” she noted. “We're trying to be proactive. Montessori really does work, and kids have a love of learning.”
       The school's enrollment has increased more than 20 percent in two years. The enrollment was about 175 in Fall 2009, when BV first became an all-Montessori school (after five years sharing with traditional classes).
       Buena Vista is the only Montessori public school in the region, charging no fee except tuition for preschoolers. That income helps School District 11, as does the state share that comes to the district because of BV's enrollment; however, in a “tough economy,” the district faces budget cuts and thus can't help with classroom-addition costs, Downs said.
       A PTA flyer describes the Read-a-thon as a get-together with students and their families, including donated pizza, beverages and prizes. “It's a chance for people to mingle and get to know the community,” she said.
       In conjunction with the event, Downs is also seeking donations and writing grants. For more information, the school phone is 328-4100, and the website (which is set up for PayPal) is buenavistaelementary.org.
       Kindergarten sign-ups
       Kindergarten enrollment for the fall 2012 has begun at most District 11 schools.
       Families need to fill out a form and provide birth-date verification, immunization records, proof of residency and copy of legal paperwork (for children not with birth parents).
       To be eligible, children must have their fifth birthday no later than Oct. 1, 2012.
       At one of the Westside schools, the Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning charter, 2510 N. Chestnut St., Director Nikki Myers will give a presentation Thursday, Jan. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m., titled “How You Can Help Prepare Your Preschooler for Kinder-garten.”
       For more information on registration, contact the nearest elementary school or the one that you prefer under D-11's “choice” opportunity. The choice deadline is Feb. 15.
       CHS orientation Jan. 12
       Coronado High School's annual Eighth Grade Orientation will be Thursday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m.
       The free event is open to eighth-graders who plan to attend Coronado in Fall 2012. Parents are also welcome.
       Activities will include a meeting in the auditorium and information opportunities in the cafeteria to learn about academics and activities.
       For more information, call 328-3600.

Westside Pioneer/press releases