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More classrooms for better schooling

Dear Editor:

There has been much discussion recently among parents of the Aspen Elementary School that a yes vote on bond question 3B, which would allow for a new roof on the elementary school and five additional classrooms, will only lead to increased enrollment.

This is not the case. Our current superintendent has a capacity directive from the school board. After our Choice Capacity Task Force in 2003, it was decided that there would be no more than 16-18 students in K-2, 18-20 students in grades 3-4, and no more than 22 students on average in grades 5-12. These limitations have been in place for two years.

An issue that the task force did not address was that as a result of these smaller student/teacher ratios, there was a lack of adequate classrooms to house our student population. The elementary school, which was built in 1991 and designed at that time with larger numbers of students per classroom, currently has five pods with five classrooms in each pod. That is a total of 25 classrooms. We currently have a need for 30 classrooms in our elementary school. Classes are held in an auxiliary gym, a tiered music room and rooms with no natural lighting.

The building of these five additional classrooms would allow for all these designated rooms to be returned to their original use. There is no intent to have more than 30 classrooms in the elementary school but simply to have classrooms that better meet the needs of today’s educational practices. Educational studies have shown that 500 students per building is the optimal number to provide the rich educational programs we as a community value. Assurances have been made that we will not exceed these numbers.

Please vote yes on 3A and 3B because quality buildings plus quality programs equals quality education.

Roxanne Willsky

Sandra Peirce

Aspen


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