It will be a new experience to ride the bus every morning to class for the James Madison Elementary Students in Indio, the children will be driven to a different campus in La Quinta as their current school was deemed unsafe by engineers.
The commute begins at Madison Elementary, it travels past their neighborhood and into new territory, about ten minutes later they arrive at their new location the Adams Early Childhood Learning Center.
The Early Childhood Learning Center was a fully functioning elementary school but the Desert Sands Unified School District significantly scaled back operations after low enrollment.
The teachers had a week to pack their classroom and move to the La Quinta campus, some teachers, like Special Day Class Teacher, Alejandro Martinez, said it was not a walk in the park.
Martinez said, “There was a lot of moving I felt like we were moving from one home to another, if you ever moved to a new house, that’s exactly what it felt like.”
The move was necessary, engineers hired by the district for upgrades at Madison Elementary found mold and corrosion in some of the base structures.
Jessica Beltran is a mother of one of the students who attend Madison Elementary, she said she is glad they moved fast to get kids out of there.
Beltran said, “I’m glad that our safety for our students was a priority and they took action immediately.”
The teachers also took immediate action as soon as they learned they were moving campuses.
Sheryl Berz is a first-grade teacher and she arranged her new classroom like the previous one, she said she got it down with the help of colleagues and people in the community.
“It was really like unraveling a tightly knotted chain and not knowing where to begin,” Berz said. “The district office came down here and they did amazing things took off their jackets, took off their ties moving furniture.”
It will be a new adjustment for students and at this point, it is unclear when their old school can welcome them back.
The district’s public information officer, Mary Perry, said experts will need to provide them with an outline of the work that is needed before they can predict a date to reopen.
Perry said, “Until we have an assessment and recommendation on what we need to address at the school as far as construction, there’s really no way of telling a timeline for reopening.”
The first school bus leaves James Madison Elementary School at seven in the morning for students in the fourth and fifth grades.
The complete bus schedule can be found by following this link.