Folwell Elementary School Playground
A collaborative message from Folwell staff, RPS departments and Folwell PTSA...
In the spring of 2018, Rochester Public Schools (RPS) departments began working with the Folwell PTSA to discuss replacing a portion of the playground. The equipment had been repaired several times and parts were no longer available. PTSA agreed to support the replacement of the equipment and set out to select new products and raise funds. This was a collaboration with RPS Department of Health and Safety, RPS Department of Finance, PTSA and myself as building principal.
The PTSA Executive Board devoted a lot of time an effort to work with vendors, collaborate with District partners, communicate with the Folwell community and creatively raise funds. We are so grateful for all the donations and contributions from our families and friends of Folwell. Although the fundraising efforts were very successful, goals were not met in time to put in new equipment for the 19-20 school year. Plans were made to initiate the project in the early summer of 2020.
In the middle of July, a tree fell on the equipment that was going to be replaced. Again, the collaboration resumed in order to determine our next steps, the possibilities and the timelines. Questions were asked and ideas were generated. Updated bids were requested with hopes of an early installation. However, unfortunately, a fall installation isn’t possible. There is no way to predict whether or not the ideal temperatures would be sustained for the project this fall. Temperatures need to be at forty degrees or warmer for a specific length of time in order to install the fall protection appropriately and to avoid premature damage. There are also questions of safety having our students play near an active work site. With all stakeholders represented during the discussion, it was determined that new equipment would be installed in June of 2020.
While this will change the look of the playground for this year, other ideas have been generated to support students and keep them active during this time of transition.