EDITORIAL — Change isn’t easy but good for schools

Published 12:11 am Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Port Arthur Independent School district has hosted its One Stop school registration event for several years now, a neat concept to make it easy for families prepare for the upcoming school year by hosting as many services in one place, or “One Stop,” if you will.

But that may change.

The Nederland Independent School District’s Citizens Advisory Committee met in the auditorium at Langham Elementary in October of 2018 during their assessment of the needs of Nederland campuses. It is an auditorium that Assistant Superintendent Stuart Kieschnick reminded the committee was 80 years old. Many of the NISD buildings have histories just as long — The youngest school, Nederland High, is 47 years old.

That, too, will change.

Area school systems are modernizing, remodeling and innovating, and that necessarily means change.

This year, PAISD brought computers to their One Stop event for parents to register their children online. The new methods should cut back on paperwork, mail volume and make information easier to access.

It may also mean the end of the One Stop event.

“Our goal is for this to be the last year of doing a big actual event of One Stop,” Kristyn Cathey, media/communications specialist for PAISD, said in a story in Wednesday’s edition. “Once it’s online, parents can use it at anytime.”

What PAISD families may lose in the convenience of the One Stop event, they will certainly gain in efficiency and ease of access for next year’s registration, while the school district gets to lower its carbon footprint with less paperwork and keep students’ information more reliably up to date.

That is what progress looks like.

Meanwhile Nederland residents approved a $151.1 million bond in May to renovate their aging facilities. Langham Elementary will receive $13.1 million of that funding, and on Thursday planners, architects and stakeholders met to discuss the designs of a brand new building that will include classrooms, a gym, cafeteria, auditorium, kitchen and administration space.

It took Nederland a decade to get a bond for renovating its schools passed, and the architects are still working out kinks on the new designs and making sure the community has enough input.

“Because we’re school architects and we already have an idea of what they should be like, that’s good and bad,” said architect Andy Simpson in a story in Friday’s edition. “It’s bad if someone else has a different idea and we didn’t ask them.”

A better, more modern facility is the payoff for the inconvenience of having to navigate through construction work during classes, or watching a building remembered fondly from school years long past get a face lift that may not look quite like the original.

This, too, is what progress looks like.

Change isn’t easy, but helps us to strive to be better.