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Pioneer Elementary School

BACKGROUND

On October 13, 1998, the Amador County Grand Jury Schools Committee conducted a routine agency review of Pioneer Elementary School. The principal led a tour of the school and the premises. Pioneer is a K-6 school and is one of the oldest schools in the district, built in 1944.

The original Pioneer Elementary School cannot accommodate the number of students currently attending. Therefore, several portable classrooms and one portable restroom are utilized. The portable classrooms do not contain sinks, students and staff must leave the classroom to wash hands, get water for projects, table cleanup and for emergency spills. This condition is disruptive to the academic schedule. The portable restroom unit has separate bathrooms for boys and girls. Both the boys and girls bathrooms contain sinks that are not properly secured to the walls.

Ingress and egress is one of the main problems at the school site. The school bus loading and truck delivery area is in the center of the school facility and is a potential hazard. Busses picking up or delivering children are required to back up to turn around in a congested area, which is unsafe around children. Staff and visitor parking at the school site is extremely limited and is also used as a delivery and pickup point for children being dropped off by parents.

The school has gone through major improvements over the past summer. The exterior of the school was painted, the school kitchen was updated with the purchase of a new stove, and the installation of a stainless drip pan under stove area and the majority of the roof was repaired.

During the tour of the premises a tripping hazard was noted in the sidewalk to the upper playground. Rails on the upper playground bleachers are missing or broken. The lower playground is in need of a retaining wall to prevent erosion behind lower classrooms. It was also noted that the east wing of the school roof still needed to be repaired.

FINDINGS

  1. Busses picking up or delivering children are required to turn around in a congested area which includes vehicles and pedestrians. This is not a safe procedure.
  2. Sinks are not properly secured to portable restroom walls. There is concern that the sinks might be pulled from the wall causing injury to a child or damage to the portable.
  3. The portable classrooms contain no sinks. Academic time is wasted by students leaving the classroom to get water.
  4. Walkway to upper playground has tripping hazard.
  5. Bleacher safety rails in upper playground are missing or broken.
  6. Lower playground needs a retaining wall to prevent further erosion.
  7. Trees are too close to classrooms. Limbs hang over classrooms and there are utility wires hanging in some of them.
  8. East wing of school roof needs repair.
  9. Children are required to cross active access road during school hours.
  10. Inadequate parking.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Purchase property adjacent to school to provide additional parking and provide drive through access for busses.
  2. Properly secure loose sinks in portable restrooms.
  3. Install sinks in portable classrooms.
  4. Remove tripping hazard on the upper walkway.
  5. Repair or replace safety rails on upper playground bleachers.
  6. Install retaining wall on lower playground.
  7. Remove tree limbs hanging over classrooms.
  8. Repair roof on east wing.

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