Save Ringgold community schools
This is in response to the letter “Time for logic, common sense in Ringgold,” which appeared in the March 2 edition of the Observer-Reporter.
Amy Vaccaro, who wrote the letter, lacks an understanding of community schools. I am in agreement that now is not the time for nostalgia and sentiment. Instead, it is a time to be aware of the needs of our students, families, teachers and communities to move Ringgold forward.
Community schools are full-service hubs of the communities where they are rooted, serving students and families who have a stake in them. Through strategic partnerships with community entities, community schools help meet the academic, physical, social and emotional needs of students and families. Community schools are easily accessible and open on evenings and weekends where communities come together to solve problems that interfere with student success. Some districts across the county have forged partnerships to provide on-site medical services, mental health and substance abuse counseling, programs to combat violence and after-school programs.
Community schools also provide the challenging curriculum we expect, coupled with a host of added supports to ensure success. They are guided by the belief that the best outcomes are achieved when students, families and communities are healthy and consistently engaged. Parents are empowered in these schools. Teachers are supported as added resources allow them to focus on their passion, educating students. In short, adhering to the community school approach stands to strengthen education in Ringgold. Saving the buildings in Monongahela and Donora is necessary because they are rooted in the most populated areas of our district and have ample space and amenities for community use and the development of strategic partnerships.
We can choose to go all in and renovate everything, or be strategic in our renovations like you and I have to do with our homes and fix what needs fixing with a plan for future improvements. There is no flexibility in cost when building a new middle school. It can only go up from the current $28.2 million starting point.
I agree, now is the time for logic and common sense. In May, choose wisely. Support candidates who stand with our children, parents and our communities.
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