Letters to the Editor

School closure will do more harm than good

Schools are a place where kids learn how to interact, behave and to give respect, therefore many think of it is a second home. We build relationships and community at our schools. Many students in the North Kitsap School District will be attending a new school in the fall if the school board decides to continue on its current course of closing any of the three elementary schools up for closure: Breidablik, Gordon and Wolfle.

I strongly believe that closing any school is neither in the best interest of the North Kitsap School District, nor its students. The school board needs be more forward-thinking and consider the long-term effects of school closures, rather than just focusing on the short-term bottom line.

School closures will result in larger, more crowded schools, fewer students attending neighborhood schools, and more parents choosing to leave the school district all together. The school board should be looking into ways to attract more students, not losing students. Please consider the consequences for the community before you make your final decision.

With just a little research, I have found substantial evidence to support the following ideas: Smaller schools are better for students and teachers; students are negatively impacted by transitions from one school to another. Please, consider the research before you make your final decision.

The criteria for school closure presented at the board meetings did not address many issues that identify a quality school or a quality school district. These include: student participation in extracurricular activities; students’ sense of belonging; community involvement; staff relations and collaboration; student performance; and the level of staff interest in student success. At smaller schools where communities already exist, these qualities are evident. When communities are broken up and students are disrupted, these qualities are lost. Consider the consequences for students and staff before you make your final decision.

We all have the same ultimate goals, a benchmark school district and a quality education for every student. Please consider that as your bottom line before you make your final decision.

Sheila O’Neill
Poulsbo

 

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