Speak up against SLCS handling of fourth grade

To the editor:

The Saranac Lake Central School District has decided to eliminate one fourth-grade class at Petrova Elementary School for the upcoming school year, resulting in much larger class sizes for this grade level. Some of last year’s Petrova students will now be forced into being bused to the Bloomingdale Elementary School in order to achieve even class sizes at both schools. These factors, along with staff reductions, will cause many hardships for the incoming fourth-graders, parents and teachers this coming school year.

These larger classes are going to hamper the academic capabilities of all fourth-grade students this coming fall. The students that are struggling with learning will not receive the instruction or services they need to be successful in these larger classes. The students that are excelling will also be at risk because the teachers will not be able to spend the necessary time to focus on their educational needs and give them the appropriate attention needed to keep them advancing academically.

The moving of students from Petrova to Bloomingdale just to keep all fourth-grade classes the same size makes no sense. This will cause the school system to expend additional taxpayer monies on transportation and make it extremely inconvenient for village students as well as their parents because they will be uprooted from Petrova Elementary School and moved to Bloomingdale just to even out class sizes. These children will be spending longer times riding a bus to and from Bloomingdale. They will be required to leave earlier in the morning and arrive back home later in the afternoon. It would make more sense economically and logistically to add another fourth-grade class at Petrova. It will allow these students to remain in their familiar surroundings, the comfort of their neighborhood school and keep class sizes more manageable.

Please be an advocate for your child and go to the next school board meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 6 and voice your concern. If you can’t make the meeting, please write a letter to the Board of Education explaining that you want a better classroom and educational situation for your child. The school system exists for one reason and one reason only: to provide a sound educational curriculum and foundation for the students of our school district. The establishment of these larger classroom sizes is not a wise decision for our children/students and against this fundamental educational principle.

Tracy Goetz