Prepping for VPThe staff at Superior Middle School anticipates a twitchy group of students today.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
The staff at Superior Middle School anticipates a twitchy group of students today.
The post-Halloween sugar rush is nothing new, but now teachers must also contend with the excitement brewing over Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to the middle school.
“They’re aware (of the visit) and they know it’s not a school event, but I think they’re a little excited the vice president is going to be here,” said Principal Rick Flaherty.
Biden is scheduled to make a campaign stop in Superior today and will speak in the school’s cafetorium. The doors open at 1 p.m.
Preparations for the visit began Tuesday, but Superior superintendent Janna Stevens said the middle school encountered very little additional work because of the event. She gave credit to the maintenance and custodial staff at SMS for their meticulous upkeep of the school.
“They like that building to be shiny and clean all the time, so I don’t think there were any additional measures taken,” Stevens said.
The SMS cafetorium is closed today prior to the event. Students will eat lunch at tables set up in the hallway, which is the common practice when the cafetorium is rented for concerts or other events.
“It’s a pretty good spot that can be isolated off without changing too much of the students’ day,” Stevens said.
The only difference between today’s rally and past events held at the middle school was the involvement of other agencies, Stevens said. Both the Secret Service and the Superior Police Department visited the middle school to set up security.
“Thankfully they arranged everything,” Stevens said. “They really took over.”
The Superior school district learned on Monday of the vice president’s planned visit, and official word came Tuesday morning that middle school was chosen as the venue. The performing arts center at Superior High School was also considered.
Since learning of the middle school’s selection, Flaherty has been busy showing people around the building. The Secret Service and the Superior Police Department asked for details about the school as they put security measures in place, and Flaherty guided event coordinators through the building as they prepared for the event.
“It’s been kind of fun, but it has been hectic,” Flaherty said.
Students will be largely unaffected by today’s event. They will be released 20 minutes early, at 2:40 p.m., but otherwise will see few changes in their daily routine.
Flaherty said the goal was to disrupt students as little as possible.
A telephone message went out to parents Wednesday to inform them of the early release time.
Parents picking up their students from school today are advised the community events entrance off Hammond Avenue will be closed to students and staff. Students will exit from the main entrance when dismissed.
“Parents will need to drop off and pick up students at the main entrance all day Friday,” Flaherty said. “Because of traffic, I would suggest that parents talk to their kids if they are planning to pick the kids up on Friday to make sure that everyone understands that they will have to meet at the main entrance.”
Parking at the middle school will also be restricted for today’s event. The community events parking lot will be reserved entirely for those attending the vice presidential event. Flaherty said limited parking may also be available in the lot outside the main entrance, but preference goes to the school staff, which will use the lot for the day.
“I would anticipate that parking will be a challenge,” Flaherty said. Side streets typically serve as overflow parking for events held at the middle school, and Flaherty said he expected that to be the case again today.