Steamboat Springs Middle School teachers: Stuck in middle
In the past few weeks, we have seen a lot of information printed about the need for more space at the elementary level. Some residents have suggested that building a third elementary would alleviate all of our problems with overcrowding and a new high school is unnecessary.
As middle school teachers, we would like the general public to understand, there is a need for more educational programming space at Steamboat Springs Middle School. Building one elementary school is not a solution that will help our district in the long term.
Currently, this is the situation at Steamboat Springs Middle School:
■ Our school capacity is 545, and we currently have 589 students. If we use the ratio of 25 students to one teacher per classroom, we are actually 89 students over the ideal capacity of 500 students.
■ There is not enough seating in the cafeteria, and children will be eating on the stage as soon as the weather gets too cold to sit outside.
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■ At times, we are forced to use noneducational spaces for teaching and meeting with small groups.
■ We have one teacher using office space to teach her resource classes.
■ We have every classroom filled; there is no room available if we need extra staff or want to add new programs or curriculum.
■ Any additional staff will mean that teachers are teaching from a cart and moving around the school and displacing others.
■ The size of the classrooms was not meant for 30-plus students. Our numbers have grown, but our space has not. There is not a lot of room for movement or personal space.
■ We have science classrooms without running water for labs.
■ Two “temporary” trailers added to our school have now become permanent classrooms.
■ The locker room does not provide adequate personal space for students to change or store their belongings with 40-plus students in the locker room at one time.
■ Ventilation is an issue in many of the classrooms. Only a few classrooms have air conditioning.
The area for creating an addition to this building is limited by wetland space, and the current school structure cannot hold a second story.
Middle school is an important time in the development of our children.
They need to move and have flexible spaces to learn and thrive.
We want to provide the best environment for them to find their identity and become young adults. Don’t leave their needs out of the scenario when planning for our future.
Crowded classrooms, a cafeteria bursting at the seams and hallways used for studying are not conducive to learning.
Moreover, they do not demonstrate best practice in the field of education.
Instead of thinking about a quick fix, Steamboat Springs voters should consider a long-term solution to our growth issue.
We love and care deeply about your children, and we love teaching at Steamboat Springs Middle School. We are extremely proud of our achievements through the past 10 years.
An award-winning school should have the necessary space for continued success.
Consider voting “yes” for 3A and 3B. These bonds are an investment in the future generations of children in Steamboat Springs.
Jerry Buelter, principal
Teachers Amy Piva, Julie Warnke, Jennifer Sherman, Chris Adams, Rebecca Fulk, Jeff Ruff, Cathy Girard, Kandise Gilbertson, Brande O’Hare, Wendy Hall, Tai Nass, Amber Knauf, Stephen Miller, Marin Shanahan, Travis Bryant, Jo Kushik-Sinclair, Annie and Ben Barbier, Kathleen and Brad Weber, Jim Knapp, Matt Anderson, Emily Lawrence and Sarah and Mike Beurskins
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