By Jayson Knight
Union City Schools have made some major improvements to start the new school year with, including a new electronic sign, and a revamped playground area for elementary school kids.
Union City Schools Superintendent Dr. Becky Slothower said Monday, September 12, “We have had an excellent start to our year, and the students and the staff are now into their routine of learning and looking forward to the rest of the year.”
The improvements to the playground are not finished either.
“We have a couple of really neat additions to our school,” Dr. Slothower said. “We have the new playground was finished and (we’re) looking forward to continuing to add on to that as we can. We have a highlighted musical instrument area that was donated by a patron that the students are particularly enjoying. We have a concrete pad that was poured and designed for all of these musical instruments to be together in one area so that students can be in a group form while they play all of the instruments. They are extremely creative and magical to listen to. So, the students really are drawn to the different sounds that they make.”
The musical instrument equipment was donated by Jimmy and Mandi Pappe, and other playground equipment was donated by Citizen Energy. Best Oilfield donated pea gravel for the playground as well.
“We also have a brand-new digital sign that was donated by a wonderful patron in the community,” Dr. Slothower said. “We are looking forward to being able to communicate very quickly and effectively with our brand-new sign.”
Slothower said being able to get those need-to-know messages out to parents will be very helpful, and much more efficient than before.
“The other sign, as far as I know, was a sign that had been here, I believe, since the 1950’s,” Slothower said. “And it had the letters that slid across. You know, and you could only have x amount of letters on a line.”
The superintendent said the district has seen some growth this year, as they recover someof the students they lost to COVID concerns over the last couple of years.
“Our student count is up and we are looking forward to continuing to regain some students that originally had not returned since COVID,” Slothower said. “I think education is an interactive process, and students and teachers enjoy having the feedback from one another, which is exaggerated and really sought after in a classroom-type setting versus just a virtual screen interaction,” Slothower said. “So, the teachers and students, especially the ones that have been at home, are enjoying having the teacher’s response that is immediate, and peers and a lot of the school interaction that has been missing for them for a while as they’ve been at home. We just are glad to be back and (are) looking forward to a great year.”