Portable removal begins, teachers move classes



Students in the guitar class practicing in the band room. Guitar has relocated from their portable to the band room and cafeteria.


In August, assistant principal Jason Wilson sent out an email informing teachers that the school would move forward with removing portables 16-21 and asked teachers to begin vacating their classrooms by the end of 2019.

The timeline for the move was later moved up to last Friday. Monday of that week, Wilson sent out another email informing teachers contractors would be arriving the following week.  According to Wilson, this was an extension of a project that began last year. The attempts fell through and were postponed until this school year.

“Timing got tight and communications broke down a little bit,” Wilson said.

Now, teachers have been organizing their students to help them in their move.

The expedited timeline for the move means academic lab teacher Randy Wright spent his ROAR period manually hauling equipment from his old classroom in portable 20 to his new room in portable 36.

“It was just a question of time and when we’d have to move, sooner or later,” Wright said.

He is one of the last teachers moving from their original classroom. Prior to the second email Wilson sent out, Wright planned to complete the transition to P36 during the winter holidays.

“I’m just trying to do as much as I can myself,” Wright said.

Students helped teachers with the move.

Though, according to Wilson, movement of all furniture is meant to be organized to occur outside of school hours, under the direction of the maintenance crew.
“A lot of the time teachers like to expedite those movements,” Wilson said. “If everyone picks up a piece [of furniture], it’s usually pretty easy, right?’

Among the classes that had to move, Michael Austin’s guitar classes gave up two rooms in total – both their unofficial practice room for equipment and their classroom in P29, which will now be used by peer helping teacher Valerie Erb.

They’ve since moved to the band room and use the cafeteria as a practice space.

According to guitar student Drew Salisbury, the class had to empty out storage closets to have room so that they could maximize their available storage space.
As the cafeteria space is also used to hold mats for wrestling, cheerleading, and other assorted equipment, the guitar classes negotiated to split up the space being used for other activities.

“We made do,” Salisbury said.

According to Spanish teacher Veronica Davalos, who was instructed to move to P37 from P19, teachers were allotted a maximum of six hours of paid time to complete their transitions.

For the guitar classes, the entire move took around a week. Maintenance and facilities employees handled moving heavier equipment, such as guitar racks. The rest was left up to teachers to decide.

“I didn’t get a set-out plan of how we were going to move,” Michael said. “It was like, ‘Make sure you get all this stuff over there and we’ll take care of the heavy things.’ All the rest of the stuff we take care of basically ourselves.”

Michael was one of several teachers to utilize their students for the transition. Davalos also collaborated with her TAs and assorted students to help expedite her move.

Unlike Wright, who was relying on winter break to finish the move, Davalos dedicated the first Monday of her Thanksgiving break to moving to her new portable. Now, freshly transitioned, Davalos sees Wright struggling to finish moving to the new classroom with the deadline looming.

“I know he felt a sense of frustration and anxiety because we’re in the middle of grading and ‘Oh, by the way, Friday’s your deadline,’” Davalos said.
Despite beginning the move early, it still took Davalos two weeks to finish the ordeal.

“It’s not as simple as six hours,” Davalos said. “It does take time.”