The Cape Henlopen school district will soon have 5 elementary schools:
H.O. Brittingham (HOB), Milton, DE
Milton Elementary School (MES), Milton, DE
Shields, Lewes, DE
Rehoboth, Rehoboth, DE
Love Creek (to be completed in 2017), Lewes, DE
The school board has identified problems in 4 of the schools:
Love Creek - too many students
Rehoboth - not enough students
HOB - too many low-income students
Shields - too many high-income students.
The school board, headed by Andy Lewis, has drafted its preferred solution, known as "Option F."
Option F will move students from what the school board refers to as "pockets of poverty" to the two schools located in Milton, DE.
Students in these "pockets" south of MES, but north and west of Love Creek will attend MES.
Students in these "pockets" north of HOB will attend MES.
Students around and in Milton will attend HOB, which will NOT change the problem of poverty at HOB that the board identified. This will make the student body of HOB and MES both above 45% impoverished.
What is wrong with a 40% + impoverished school?
1. When children of families who are impoverished, through no fault of their own or their parents, are all put together in one school (or in this case both of our schools) the teachers, who are equally wonderful at both schools, simply cannot do enough to make up the achievement gap, and all the students end up with lower performance and lower grades despite how good the teachers are and what the teachers do.
2. The poverty increases from there, because anyone with the economic means to do so, sends his or her child to another school, or relocates to a "better" neighborhood. Why should we care about this in Milton? Our chamber of commerce is growing. We have new businesses in town, which means new job opportunities and new construction. If our schools become something that middle-class families run from, our town, which is growing, could stop. And our children will be settled into a nice little disadvantaged bundle that the school board can simply ignore.
Why is a new school being built in Lewes?
Why are HOB and MES being overloaded with all the impoverished students?
Why isn't the school board looking for solutions that would turn the problem around, like turning HOB into a specialty magnet school, rather than simply shuffling the children around to suit the board's numbers game?
Why should your children, your town, the wonderful teachers at HOB and MES, your property values, your local growth, businesses, and jobs ALL have to take the hit for Cape Henlopen School Board?
Well, they are wrong about that. HOB parents and MES parents are not going to lay down for the school board to drive over us while they bus our kids away from rich people on the coast.
Dear Cape Henlopen School Board,
By signing this petition I am giving you notice that I, my family, my school, and my town vote NO on Option F.
I demand that you involve us in the process of addressing your concerns about the schools.
I demand that the town of Milton and the schools of MES and HOB be given a fairer stake in the district than that which is being proposed in Option F and endorsed by superintendent Robert Fulton and board president Andy Lewis.
I demand that children who live close enough to see their school and hear school announcements from their home be allowed to walk to those schools if they so choose, rather than being forced to take a bus to another school.
I reject Option F.
I vote NO.
The No on Option F for HOB and MES petition to Cape Henlopen School Board was written by Dianne Pearce and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.