Letter: Fifth-graders shouldn't be moved to Middle SchoolAfter reading in the July 22 Daily Globe that the School Board approved a contract with McKinstry to investigate and provide cost estimates for a possible expansion or remodeling of Worthington Middle School, I once again found myself wondering why we dive into the water before finding out how deep it is.
By: Chad Neuberger, Worthington, Worthington Daily Globe
After reading in the July 22 Daily Globe that the School Board approved a contract with McKinstry to investigate and provide cost estimates for a possible expansion or remodeling of Worthington Middle School, I once again found myself wondering why we dive into the water before finding out how deep it is.
It is my understanding that the reason for the expansion at the Middle School is to accommodate moving fifth grade from Prairie Elementary. I question why the school board is seemingly jumping ahead with plans before adequately informing the public.
A school board member shared with me that the maximum occupancy at Prairie Elementary is 1,100 students, and there is a good chance we will surpass this number in the 2009-2010 school year. The growing student body at Prairie necessitates change, but is this the only option?
I have voiced my concerns to members of the school board and administration, and I am now encouraging everyone to voice their feelings. Before we spend a large amount of money looking into remodeling plans, let’s determine if the parents and guardians of our students favor this drastic change. Are fifth-graders ready to move to the deeper waters of the Middle School? I for one do not believe that a fifth-grade boy or girl is prepared for the added peer-pressure or academic standards that would be expected of them in the Middle School building.
I am writing this letter because I believe everyone should be aware of the situation. When I was the Prairie Elementary Parent Group president, I repeatedly asked what the plans were for dealing with the growing size of Prairie Elementary. I suggested that if they planned to expand, they let the public know so everyone had time to digest that information. I made repeated requests for Superintendent Landgaard to speak at a Parent Group meeting on the topic to no avail.
Before going forward, why not share with the public your proposed plans early on and seek input? That way we may avoid wasting time and money and put undo stress on the public like this past spring with the Flexible Learning Year proposal.
I for one am going to continue to tell the school board and Administration that the fifth-graders need to stay where they are, and I encourage everyone to share your thoughts with the appropriate people. It is time that we let them know unequivocally to see how deep the water is before we dive into it and get hurt.