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Saugus Union Officials OK Reopening Of Emblem Elementary

Saugus Union School District officials OK’ed the re-opening of Emblem Elementary at Tuesday’s district meeting.

A recommendation, which was based on feedback from community surveys and staff input, called for a STEM focus at the newly revamped two-story facility.

The school district also named Jon Baker principal, according to Saugus Union board President Judy Umeck.

The move is a “significant” one for the community, Umeck said.

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The school will have approximately 500 students in class sizes that will be right around the district averages, which vary depending on the grade.

 “The board is excited to be taking a look at getting (Emblem Elementary School) reopened and that’s what we’ll be talking about (at the meeting),” said Joan Lucid, the district superintendent.

A staff recommendation – based on presentations from four different committees that looked at community input, figures and discussion from stakeholders, staff and employee feedback – is calling for a STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, focus at the newly revamped two-story facility, Lucid said.

Whether the school adopts the curriculum will also be part of Tuesday’s discussion.

The move is a significant one for the community, said Saugus Union board member Judy Umeck, who said she is looking forward to the discussion and hearing input at the meeting.

“We invite the community to come and hear the presentations and options that we’ll be receiving this evening regarding the future of Emblem Elementary,” she said.

There are also issues to discuss before the school officially opens its doors and welcomes students into its classrooms, which is expected to happen for the start of the 2013-14 school year, said Lucid.

But now the planning can begin in earnest with the board's decision.

Decisions such as a how a STEM plan would be implemented and school size for the kindergarten-through-sixth-grade school would be part of the decision-making process, Lucid said. 

“Some of it has to do with a bigger focus on project-based learning and there are ways of taking the sciences and the math and putting a bigger emphasis on them,” she said.