By Joseph Pratt
Portsmouth STEM Academy held its first open house Wednesday and Thursday of this week, drawing in well over 100 people — which was more than they were expecting.
Board members were present, along with Headteacher Diana Marsh, the teaching staff and the arts educators from the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center.
Parents had the opportunity to view the shell of the building and get an idea of what to expect. The educators were prepared with information on what will be offered for the students and how lesson plans are individually catered per a student’s needs. Even without carpet being laid and the furniture not been moved in yet, many parents present expressed interest in the school and their unique offerings.
There were also opportunities for the students to participate in fun activities. A scavenger hunt was planned for the kids with a Minecraft theme. Pegi Wilkes, with Cirque d’Art Theatre, was also present to give students their first ever circus class. Cirque will be partnering with the school to provide a physical outlet for the students.
“I like it. I like the concepts and everything they are involving in the school day,” Alex Watts, father of four-year-old Riley Watts, said. “I want her to live life and not be sheltered. I like knowing at STEM she would be able to visit the museum three times a week, take lessons with Cirque and be involved in the community while learning.”
Watts said that he is very interested in sending his daughter to Portsmouth STEM Academy. He is also considering public school and sees the benefits in it as well, but likes what opportunities STEM offers.
“Both have their benefits, obviously, but our daughter would be forced to repeat preschool in public school and we want to give her the most opportunities to be challenged and she wouldn’t be able to have that by this year in public school,” Watts said. “We like the idea that she can have a tailored curriculum that would challenge her.”
Portsmouth STEM Academy will also be welcoming guests into the school for another open house July 29 and 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“The teachers spoke with so many potential parents and we’re going to receive so many more applications because of it. Everyone was so excited to see the space. While the carpet wasn’t finished, the parents got to see the space and were pleased,” Casey Smith, YEI and STEM operations manager, said. “We expected around 50 would make the first night and we went well over that. We are very thrilled”
Joseph Pratt can be reached at 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.