Silt parents want 5th-graders to stay at Roy Moore school
Post Independent Staff
SILT ” Silt parents gave the school board a strong message Tuesday evening: Don’t move our fifth-graders.
And apparently, Garfield School District Re-2 board of education and administrators heard that message.
“We’ll look at this very seriously,” said Re-2 superintendent Gary Pack to the group, following the parents’ open forum at the beginning of the board’s regularly scheduled meeting.
A standing-room-only crowd gathered in the media center at Roy Moore Elementary School to address the school board, which governs public schools in New Castle, Silt and Rifle.
The Silt elementary school held classes for kindergartners through sixth-graders until last year, when the district moved the school’s sixth-graders to Riverside School in New Castle.
Now, although nothing has been firmly decided, there have been discussions about moving Roy Moore’s fifth-graders to Riverside as well.
But at Tuesday night’s meeting, parent Pam Hutton explained why fifth grade should remain at Roy Moore.
“Silt is unique in the school district. Of the three communities, Silt is the only one where children must leave town to go to middle school,” Hutton said. Silt sixth-graders now travel seven miles to school in New Castle. “They change communities. Is that what we want for fifth-graders who are 10 years old?” she asked.
Hutton also said breaking up siblings into different schools ” and different communities ” could be a “scary” proposition for children used to attending and walking to school together.
Parent Jenny Zetah said it was important to the parents that they address the Re-2 administration in the most positive way they could.
“We really focused on the positive points,” Zetah said, “bringing up the good things about the fifth-graders staying at Roy Moore.”
Some of those positive points include the school’s high state test scores. Zetah said out of all the fifth-graders tested in the district, Roy Moore’s students have the highest scores.
“The school works as it is,” she said.
Part of the reason the district moved the sixth-graders was because Roy Moore was simply running out of room. But that’s not an issue anymore.
“Last year, we had sixth-graders in modulars,” principal Mark MacHale said. “But capacity isn’t a problem anymore. We’ve got 350 kids here. If we lose 60 kids, it’s going to affect staffing and other issues.”
Still, MacHale was pleased with the way parents and administrators could discuss the possible change together.
“This is the way it should work,” MacHale said. “People are listening to each other.”
Jenny Zetah said she, too, was positive following Tuesday’s meeting.
“I’m very happy,” Zetah said. “They listened.”
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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