The Ottumwa Courier


March 12, 2014

The new Douma

OTTUMWA — When educators first implied that computers were essential in schools, the best elementary buildings found space for one or two computer labs. Douma Elementary School is now so modernized, it has zero computer labs.

"It's all wireless," said Superintendent Davis Eidahl.

That means kids get laptop computers that will work fine right in their classroom.

Monday evening, Eidahl was giving a tour to the Ottumwa Community School District Board of Education. The nearly $5 million Douma construction project resulted in what essentially looked like a new building, agreed several board members.

The district will use Douma to educate kindergarten students and first-graders on Ottumwa's south side. Second grade through fifth grade are taught at Liberty Elementary School. The eventual goal is to do something similar on the north side of town.

Douma — the name won't change — can handle about 400 students. There's a new gym, the "addition" that can be seen in the floor plan. The center of the school is still the lunch room, though rather than having to go down a hall to get their lunch, students will be served from inside the lunch room.

Outside of that large, central room is a hallway, going around it the whole way. Off of that hall are three wings, each with a mix of kindergarten and first-grade classrooms.

Board President Carol Mitchell thought the arrangement would work well; children who were excelling could do some work with a class ahead of them, while a struggling learner could get some remedial practice.

Each wing has in its center a small library with books for both grade levels. The school doesn't have or need a large central library, Eidahl explained. But there are some rooms, like an art room, that serve all students.

Eidahl said Douma is on track to open in August as scheduled. The new building was paid for with the use of the "one penny sales tax" paid when shoppers make purchases in Iowa. That money can be used for constructing new buildings or maintaining old ones.

News reporter Mark Newman is on Twitter @couriermark

Text Only
  • IHCC buildings.jpg Grant helps Hills keep students on track

    OTTUMWA — Thanks to a grant designed to improve graduation rates, Indian Hills Community College now has even more tools in its campuswide effort to help students with needs and give them the resources they need to stay in class. Indian Hills is one

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0710 OTT Bulldogs update color photo -L -M High school students lead Bulldog charge

    OTTUMWA — Two Ottumwa High School students gave their very first press conference Wednesday morning to share their progress on decorating Ottumwa with large bulldog statues. Alyssa Cash and Madyson Feather joined Main Street Ottumwa Executive Directo

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0710 OTT Smart snacks color photo -M -L Schools adopt new food regulations

    OTTUMWA — This fall, students across the country will find big changes in the cafeteria, but Ottumwa kids may find they approve of the changes. The new "Smart Snacks in School" standards from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) went in

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Survey finds math, science grads earn top dollar WASHINGTON (AP) — It seems to matter less whether your alma mater is public or private than what you study — math and science in particular — when it comes to finding a high-paying job after college, according to a report released Tuesday by the Educ

    July 8, 2014

  • Pekin and Tri-County to share superintendent PACKWOOD — Both Pekin and Tri-County Community School Districts have voted to approve Operational Sharing Incentives for superintendent during the 2014-15 school year. During the 2014 legislative session, the Legislature passed and the governor signe

    July 2, 2014

  • Teaching the teachers

    OTTUMWA — The community has formally advised the school district that strong teachers lead to strong students. Now Ottumwa teachers have "coaches" to help them boost educational muscle. Though the idea is now formalized under a Legislative state plan

    May 29, 2014

  • 0525 OTT OHS graduation web-color photo 3 OHS seniors say farewell OTTUMWA - Sunday marked the end of high school for all the graduating seniors from Ottumwa High School. Family and friends of the students packed the Bridge View Center, leaving standing room only for late-comers. You could feel the excitement in the

    May 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • Slideshow: OHS graduation

    May 25, 2014

  • 0524 OTT OCS graduation web-color photo 3 Small ceremony for big achievements OTTUMWA - Saturday was a special day for the four seniors graduating from Ottumwa Christian School. This small graduating class is double the size of last year's class and illustrates the small-group learning style of the school. Family and friends o

    May 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Slideshow: Ottumwa Christian graduation

    May 24, 2014

AP National