August 21, 2023
We would like to inform you about a significant update regarding the plan for relocating students during the upcoming 2024-2025 Windy Hills renovation.
Initially, our intention was to relocate K-2 students to the First Baptist Church, while 3-5 students were set to move to Buffalo Hills Elementary. However, after careful consideration and extensive discussions, we have made the decision to revise this plan in the best interest of our students and families. We have determined that it will be more beneficial and logistically possible to maintain all K-5 Windy Hills students and all K-5 Buffalo Hills students in a unified location at Buffalo Hills Elementary.
While the First Baptist Church was a commendable option, the splitting up of our Windy Hills families caused us concern and anxiety. Numerous walkthroughs of Buffalo Hills' available space were conducted with the involvement of principals, architects, KPS Directors, the Superintendent, and a consultation with the state fire marshal. The group meticulously deliberated over various aspects, including classroom arrangements for K-5 students and provisions for music, art, lunch seating, and more. While we had never considered limited construction at Buffalo Hills Elementary to create additional classrooms, that idea was examined through the discussions leading to this announcement.
Through the discussions, we determined we could enclose three open hallway spaces to form additional classrooms, utilize existing space and open classrooms, and fit both schools into this single building. Collectively, we concluded that maintaining a single location for all students would enhance safety measures and offer convenience for parents with children at all grade levels. This approach will also allow our administrative team and specialists to operate seamlessly within one site, negating the need for travel between different locations. Additionally, managing transportation logistics becomes more simple with a singular location. For parents with children across multiple grades, this decision ensures all their children will be in the same place. Despite space constraints, we are confident in our ability to adequately accommodate all students safely within Buffalo Hills School.
Below, you will find three links that may be of interest to you. One link is a presentation of what the new Windy Hills Elementary will look like after construction is completed in 2024-2025. Another link is a video demonstration from Principal True and Principal Calahan of the classroom spaces and building an overview of Buffalo Hills and how we will utilize this school for both student bodies. And finally, an additional document with questions we would expect many parents to have related to the 2024-2025 school year in an effort to preemptively answer those questions to put parents' minds at ease.
However, we know that some parents will want to see things for themselves, and to that end, we cordially invite interested Windy Hills and Buffalo Hills parents to attend an OPEN HOUSE event on Tuesday, September 5, at 5:00 pm at Buffalo Hills Elementary. This event will provide you with the opportunity to explore the revised plan, take a guided tour of the classrooms, familiarize yourselves with the Windy Hills renovation plans, and seek clarification by asking any questions you may have.
Following the OPEN HOUSE, we will upload comprehensive information onto our school websites. You can find detailed updates, including the revised plan and renovation details, at each school's website: windyhills.kearneypublicschools.org and buffalohills.kearneypublicschools.org.
We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we strive to ensure the best possible learning environment for our students during this renovation period. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We value your partnership in creating a successful educational experience for all our students.
Thank you for your continued support.
Superintendent-Kearney Public Schools