Letter to the Editor 8-3-16

Published 10:56 am Friday, August 26, 2016

Dear Editor:

 

We have several concerns about the upcoming consolidation of our school system:

1. How will the students of PHS benefit from this transition? These students are the ones who will suffer the most. Not only will they no longer be the Prentiss Bulldogs, but they are being taken out of their town.

2. Both students PHS and BHS who have worked their entire educational years will now be forced to give up potential academic honors, scholarships, etc. For example, two Valedictorians and Salutatorians will now be cut to one each. Any class officers who would have been given a scholarship to a local Junior college are now being cheated of that opportunity. Star Students would become one, as well as competition for academic placement.

3. Athletics opportunities will be greatly decreased due to the larger number of players and two sets of athletes becoming one. Positions in all sports will be lost when athletic teams are combined. How will parents and players feel when children are passed over for starting positions because they will have to compete with double the number of players?

4. Parents of children involved in after school activities at the high school level would be forced to drive from Prentiss and even New Hebron to pick up their children from the Bassfield location.

5. If safety is a concern, how does doubling the number of teenagers in one location warrant a safer environment?

6. There will be a much bigger loss of faculty and staff if consolidation happens at the high school level.

In talking with JDC high school students, many of them would rather move to another district than combine schools. Consolidating high schools will be taking away their identity, their memories and their whole high school experience.

If consolidation were to be done at the elementary level, none of the above concerns would be a consideration.

If consolidation were to happen in K-5 and be housed at Carver Elementary, the students would benefit from a newly built gymnasium, new playground equipment, recently built fifth grade wing, sixth grade wing built circa 1989, as well as a fairly new and possibly larger cafeteria.

Year after year, Carver Elementary receives a “B” rating from the State Department of Education due their academic success. On the other hand, J. E. Johnson Elementary School continues to be an academically low performing school. If the two schools were combined, they would be able to collaborate, grow academically, and improve the academic success for all county students .

By combining the two elementary schools, the district would be producing students who are better prepared for high school curriculum and perform better on state assessments.

Elementary consolidation would ensure more job positions will be saved due to the larger number of students on this level.

Consolidation at the elementary level will prevent any competition for academic or athletic spots such as: band, cheerleaders, sports, class officers, homecoming, Star Student, Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Top of the Class, and etc.

 

Concerned taxpaying citizens of 

Jefferson Davis County