Letter: Reasons to OK school bonds | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Reasons to OK school bonds

Thank you to the Post Independent for your coverage of Sopris Elementary School students’ playground. Resolving the drainage problems at SES is just one of many essential projects that Roaring Fork School District will accomplish in the next one to three years if voters approve the bond question on ballots this fall.

Over at Glenwood Springs Elementary School, where I teach third grade, we badly need a new building. This year, the state of Colorado awarded our school $9 million from a total of $50 million in BEST funds because our building is among the worst in the state. This is a use-it-or-lose-it grant that depends on passing the bond.

Last year, GSES third-graders worked in teams to redesign our school. They agreed with community input that we should renovate the historic structure. Their creative designs included innovative learning features, such as underground soil-study labs, gardens, rock walls, and spaces for solitude and reflection. Their hunger for meaningful learning reflects the good work our whole school community has done to implement Expeditionary Learning and the motto, “We are crew, not passengers.”

Our English Language Development scores this year were among the highest in the state. In 2014-15, 50 percent of kindergarten through third-grade students who were below grade-level in reading caught up to their peers within just one school year. Staff and families together are improving education in Glenwood. Students deserve to do this good work in a building that is safe and comfortable.

The school district may not build all our young students’ dreams for playgrounds with swimming pools and outdoor amphitheaters for math class. But they will build a cost-efficient, structurally sound building that enables us to continue igniting students’ passions through expeditions. As an added bonus, all schools in the district will receive necessary upgrades, as decided by the community input process last year. Completing projects now insulates us from cost escalation later.

All of this improvement for $23 per month on a half-million dollar house? Yes, please.

Look for your ballot around the second week of October. Vote yes for our students and our schools.

Visit http://www.rfvbondtogether.org for more information.

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