Letter to the Editor

Move sixth-graders back to elementaries

Sunday, March 29, 2009

To the Editor:

Our school board needs to evaluate the grade configuration of our middle school now!

Are the majority of our sixth-graders ready for this middle school environment?

Recently, I attended the North Clay Middle School Academic Honor Program. I sat at a table with the family of a sixth-grade honor student. She seemed so young.

I admired her academic ability, and I wondered how all the sixth-graders, not making the academic honor program, were faring in this school. They are the majority.

I have asked our superintendent and board president repeatedly for cracker barrel sessions with sixth-grade parents and our general public! This has been repeatedly denied!


Something is being covered up in this current elementary school building project. Our school board has no answer as to how these students are faring or whether they are surviving educationally!

We need this answer before renovating any elementary schools! Our sixth-graders' majority may be able to fare better in our elementary schools! If so, they should be there!

Denial to accept is not an answer to educational problems of our students! Something is wrong when the truth cannot prevail in our elementary school building project planning!

I was there as a board member and I can tell you that our middle school was not planned to comply with sixth-graders' educational needs! North Clay Middle School was copied from another school corporation's plans and was not structured to fit or to encompass our sixth-graders' educational needs. Our students were compelled to fit into this copied structure. Our sixth-graders were transferred into North Clay Middle School as educational hostages! This was not presented to parents or to our public.

Is this hostage atmosphere still in effect as our sixth-graders transfer yearly into our middle school? If so, shouldn't our school board and superintendent define this and address this now before proceeding with the current elementary school building program? Originally, the only reason for placement of our sixth-graders in our middle school was to enhance the athletic programs at Northview. No school board since has stated that our sixth-graders are in our middle school to enhance academic programs at Northview!

Our parents and public need to call for postponement of the current building program and for the release of our sixth-graders from their hostage environment. The options requesting our school board to renovate one elementary school yearly would enable this one school to move its sixth-graders back into its elementary school building. If this shows educational improvement, then other elementary schools could recover their sixth-graders likewise!

Our current elementary school building project is not addressing any educational problems in our corporation! It is being financed by bond issues that do not fit into today's economy. Why hasn't our school board compared options based on educational improvements and impact on tax dollars.

In our educational system, our sixth-graders are in a pivotal position where pivot is defined as that on which something important depends!

Forrest Buell,

Clay City