Joe and Alyssa Laliberte: Join us in voting ‘yes’
A year and a half ago, we moved here from the Front Range to work as educators here in Steamboat. We wanted a thriving, tight-knit community. We were drawn to the idea that people in the Yampa Valley come together over tough issues and work from their unique and diverse backgrounds to solve problems.
Once we moved here, we were especially struck by how community oriented the process was to choose the location and type of new school. In our former school district, we simply did not see this level of engagement with hundreds of people giving input. It also became clear through this process that right now, the high-quality education that the community has become accustomed to is at risk. If we vote “yes” on 4A, 4B and 4C, we have an opportunity not just to keep up with the rest of Colorado but to lead in education.
A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that overcrowded buildings impact student health, thinking and performance. With our elementary schools already over capacity and our secondary schools close behind, studies and our personal experiences confirm that students are at risk of becoming less healthy, safe and ready to academically succeed after high school. This must change.
Our teachers and staff deserve to live comfortably in the places they work. The fact that our students still continue to do well is a testament to the tireless work of our teachers and staff. But compared to the rest of Colorado, we are falling behind.
In just the last four years, Telluride, Eagle County, Roaring Fork, Buena Vista, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Academy 20, Colorado Springs District 11 and our neighbors in Meeker, South Routt and Hayden are just some of the communities that supported a bond or mill levy override to support facilities and/or the funding of the school district as a whole.
We cannot afford to wait another two or three years for action. By the time a Steamboat Springs child graduates from high school, they will have spent at least 15,600 hours inside our schools. This amount of time is second only to the time they spend at home.
As a community, it is time to give our students and staff the spaces they deserve. Please join us in voting for 4A, 4B and 4C.
Joe and Alyssa Laliberte
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