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There can be a better solution! I for one am glad my children will not be part of what is proposed for the elementary schools if the plan passes. There will only be around 400 kids at Soda Creek from K-5 when pre school is added...major redistricting will have to occur or simply a lottery system because every parent would prefer their child to be there instead of Strawberry Park "Campus". What does that say about a plan when parents will be fighting to get their kids into Soda Creek? Our school district can do better for ALL of our kids.
I also have to disagree that $92 million dollars is considered "affordable". That is a HUGE amount of money with a payback of $178 million...yikes,
We all want the best for our kids education. When this new plan was introduced, with a new high school and the elementary schools being changed around having 150-160 kids in a grade at strawberry park (see Dr. D's letter) my reaction was, thank goodness my kids will be out of the elementary schools if this plan passes. As a part of this community I want the best for everyone's kids which is why we need to work on a plan that will benefit every child.
Another part of the bond issue that is not mentioned very often is how the elementary schools will become three very different schools. You will have Soda Creek with three classes per grade, approximately 66 kids per grade kindergarten through fifth grade. Pretty much a perfect scenario for an elementary school. Now if you are not part of the redistricting that will have to occur with so few kids at Soda Creek (or even a lottery system for the lucky few that get to attend Soda Creek) your kids will attend the Strawberry Park "Campus" where there will be seven classrooms per grade...approximately 150 kids per grade. One building will hold pre-school through second grade and then what is now the middle school will hold third through fifth grade. Will the kids that attend the Strawberry Park Campus be getting the same experience as the kids at Soda Creek Elementary? Food for thought when you vote on this very important bond issue.
I simply want our school board and school administrators to be fiscally responsible. $92 million dollars is a huge amount of money to ask a community to spend. Especially when only one architecture firm was brought in. There is so much innovation in our world, especially with buildings. Perhaps if additional architects or even architecture students were brought in, less expensive alternatives could be offered.
There are many more additional points that are never brought up as well...last year there were 120 students from out of district in the Steamboat schools. A new Montessori school has been approved and will be taking 120 kids with a maximum enrollment of 160 kids! High school students are starting to take a lot more on line classes. When predicting the future, no one knows with any certainty....what we can do is figure out a better plan that will not move our high school and won't cost $92 million.
Regarding pre school with an elementary school....should a public school be paying for this? Does every child that will attend the public school have access to this pre school? Who is paying for it? It seems to be very similar situation to the field house and Scott, your comments on the field house were "I don't believe the school district is tasked with making a profit on athletic fields or providing facilities to the community as a whole". Doesn't a pre-school fall into that same scenario as providing facilities to the community? The government requires us to provide education to kids from kindergarten through twelth grade. Let's just stick with that and not get into providing day care.
As far as the transition for kids let's stop looking at data and just use some common sense....3 year olds with eleven year olds, drop off, pick up, separate play grounds? Separate lunch areas? More space needed, more teachers, more benefits provided to those teachers.....yikes!
We all know that the elementary schools are overcrowded....we have a good beginning for discussion on how to solve this problem but trying to pass a bond issue this fall is just too quick after building Soda Creek. There were many community members that tried to tell the school board that Soda Creek was too small for future needs but they continued to ignore the community and built a school that is already too small. Let's not make the same mistake again.
How about building an elementary school on the land the school already owns up in Whistler area. Yes a bridge over Walton Creek will be expensive but not more expensive than purchasing 70 acres!
Why has no one mentioned NOT having a pre-school in an elementary school? Excessive expense and having three year olds with eleven year olds? Let's just focus on an elementary school! If we added a large enough elementary school we redistribute kids and could potentially move the sixth graders back into the elementary school. The middle school would then have plenty of room for seventh and eighth grade. As far as he high school goes if you need more classrooms build a three story building on the grass area right out front....add a heated walk way to main building. If field space is the problem use the land that is west of town that the school already owns and build some beautiful fields. So much land not being utilized!
No one has mentioned the expense of supporting an entire new administative staff, more busses, electricity, computers, maintenenance, etc. If the school board didn't want to ok a field house that was completely paid for because of maintenance expenses an entirely new school needs to have budget numbers scrutinized thoroughly before a bond issue can be passed by the voters.
One last thought...As far as a school west of town has anyone experienced the traffic on Highway 40 at Elk River Road? No one has mentioned that HUGE problem!
These discussions are a great starting point. We need people with innovative ideas to help the entire community come up with a solution that will work.
When the half cent sales tax was passed the pros and cons on the ballot were small class room sizes and increased technology. That is what was voted on.
We have exceptional teachers already. Our school board does not hire the cheapest teachers or teachers right out if college. They hire the best teachers out there.
If one teacher is taken away from the fourth grade class at Strawberry Park Elementary school the class sizes would be 31 kids per class! Is that ok for parents? Some of the classrooms can barely accommodate 24 kids let alone 31.
Last login: Monday, October 19, 2015
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