Petition Tag - reconfiguration

1. Oppose the Reconfiguration of our Elementary Schools

The proposed budget for the Wareham Public Schools, fiscal year 2015, contains some changes that have many parents extremely concerned.

One issue stands above the rest, the reconfiguration of our elementary schools. Students, PreK-1st grade would attend Minot Forest, while student in 2nd through 4th would attend Decas.

Our primary concern is the effect that this change would have on our children. Some children will be sent off to a different school, only to be sent to yet another school the following year.

I would expect that to cause stress for a lot of kids. All of the shuffling around is not fair to them. Quite a few parents drive their children to school because they do not feel comfortable putting them on the buses, for good reasons.

It would be impossible to get two children in the same family to two schools on opposite ends of town at the same time. The latter is also an issue when school is dismissed. For children that take the bus, they will surely be spending a lot more time on the bus. Another great concern, condensing students, once again, into already crowded schools.

In addition, cutting sixteen positions, some of which must be teachers and assistants, will increase class sizes, yet again. Wareham needs to realize that whether you have a child in the school system or not, a poor school system devalues property and the town in general.

2. STOP! The Puyallup School District Grade Reconfiguration.

What is Grade Reconfiguration?
Currently the Puyallup School District follows a Jr. High School model which includes K-6 at elementary, 7-9 at Jr. High and 10-12 at the high school level. Under the proposed reconfiguration, our district would move to a middle school model and have K-5 at the elementary, 6-8 at the middle school and 9-12 at the high school in the Fall of 2012.

Switching to a middle school model is not the problem. The problem is at the high schools. Currently there is not enough room to house the ninth graders in the existing high school buildings during the traditional school day. Enrollment in grades 10-12 currently exceeds our high schools’ plant capacities, with many students attending classes in portables. Based on this, how can we possibly consider adding 600 more students to each high school? Below are the current number of students and the projected population explosion:

Puyallup High School
Building capacity: 1,600
Grades 10-12=1,605
Grades 9-12=2,188

Emerald Ridge High School
Building capacity: 1,400
Grades 10-12=1,613
Grades 9-12=2,200

Rogers High School
Building capacity: 1,400
Grades 10-12=1,844
Grades 9-12=2,507*
*Making this the largest high school in the State of Washington

How does the School Board propose to implement this plan?
The School Board proposes to address the overcrowding issue by encouraging students to seek non-traditional school day options. These options are:

Model 1 – Extended Day
Model 2 – Twilight Academy
Model 3 – Rolling School Year and Day

The Impact
•Segregation of students. The students who participate in sports, clubs, organizations or part-time jobs would all require first shift and those who do not participate in extracurricular activities would be given second shift thus segregating the student population.
•Fewer athletic opportunities! Two and three ninth grade junior high teams, down to one team.
•Reduced access to teachers, counselors, support staff, library and technology!
•Reduced access to clubs & organizations!
•Disruption in family life.

No school district in the state of Washington has voluntarily chosen to overcrowd their high schools without an emergency dictating it. Which begs the question; do the benefits outweigh the consequences? No!

The Board of Directors needs to listen to the parents and voters of the school district. We DO NOT SUPPORT GRADE RECONFIGURATION! The current grade reconfiguration model is not in the best interest of the students and does not allow equal access to education for all students. Please make your voice heard by signing this petition.

The Puyallup School Board consists of five members who serve alternating four-year terms. Board members are elected by the citizens of the district and are suppose to serve the district at large. The School Board and Superintendent Tony Apostle need to hear from all concerned parents about this proposal.

Cindy Poysnick

Pat Donovan

Chris Ihrig

Greg Heath

Diana Seeley

Superintendent, Dr. Tony Apostle

3. Save KIES and BES from Reconfiguration and Redistricting

On December 2nd, 2009, the Queen Anne's County Board of Education voted to reconfigure our neighboring schools, KIES & BES, into a K-5 model.

Their decision to reconfigure was not based on any compelling evidence to support that this was in the best interest of the education of our children and our community.

Our objection to the reconfiguration and redistricting was based on the lack of objective goals, lack of data, lack of financial details for funding, lack of a timeline and lack of adequate community input.

Our objections were presented to the board on January 20th, 2010.

The Board of Education refused to amend their vote for reconfiguration despite our opposition.

We are requesting that the Board of Education considers other alternatives that support our community and the educational excellence of our schools.

During these tough economic times, the Board of Education is obligated to be more fiscally responsible to its tax paying citizens.

You can access a list of advantages and disadvantages to the K-5 configuration by viewing the link.

4. Keep Beaver Area Elementary Schools K-6

The projected savings will only amount to less than 1% of the current 24 million dollar budget. This is not a good value of taxpayers' money.

Increases in bussing, grade level size, and school-to-school transitions are detrimental to academic and social development.

Reconfiguration goes against the Beaver Area School District's Mission Statement by degrading our sense of community.