Letter: Listen to the teachers
Steamboat voters have asked for information from people who have first-hand knowledge of our schools. Here are the facts from the teachers.
We have squeezed all of the juice from our current buildings. The teachers and principals have creatively adjusted to the growing population that we all see every day in our community.
Every trail, road, store and parking lot is full, and so are our schools. The West Steamboat Neighborhood annexation was approved, Yampa Valley Housing Authority is building more housing, and families moving here from various backgrounds are bringing talent, creativity and diverse perspectives along with their children.
We desperately need this new building and facilities upgrades. Please vote “yes” on 4A, 4B and 4C, so we can support the needs now and proactively create spaces for the next few decades. We cannot keep putting more bodies into full buildings or into classrooms with no more space for desks. Let’s build this school and be a community where all students can thrive for five to seven hours a day in flexible, calm and connected environments while they learn and develop.
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- SCE, SPE and SSMS already have additions to accommodate growth that they outgrew almost immediately.
- Crowding means less time for important daily connections with teachers and peers.
- SSHS teaches classes at the district office impacting the preschool.
- SSMS staff lounge was converted to office space/classroom.
- Sixth grade has 227 students now with eight sections/homerooms and 27 to 28 students per class.
- Based on what the schools are built for (including additions) and what the town has repeatedly asked for with the half-cent sales tax, we are at/over capacity now.
- Replacing modulars with new wing at SCE does not change growing class sizes.
- SCE balcony spaces used as art room and offices for special education. There are no walls.
- SCE uses movable walls to create learning spaces for at-risk students; they have no privacy and many distractions.
- SPE and SSMS students can’t fit in their cafeterias.
- Traffic has increased causing safety concerns.
If we want to produce happy, healthy and capable graduates, it begins with buildings that are not overcrowded, loud, inflexible and over-scheduled. We need environments where students can develop the social confidence, communication, collaboration and creativity to practice and learn the 21st century skills necessary for careers we do not yet know about.
Please listen to those working in the buildings who want what is best for kids — please vote “yes” on 4A, 4B and 4C.
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