Mid-Prairie: Don't reject what voters approved
To the Mid-Prairie school board:
I was in attendance during the public hearing you held on March 20. You heard from most parents, teachers and associates who want boundaries changed (option A).
Some in attendance wanted things to be left alone.
I agree with the latter. But I agree for a different reason. It’s about the children, yes. But it’s also about the voters-the parents of the children in this district.
If you recollect, nearly 74 percent of the voters in this district, or 987 votes, approved six different phases of construction one of which was at the middle school which included the installation of geothermal heating and cooling system and replace all windows.
For the Home School Assistance Program, it was the construction of new classrooms, a parent resource center and offices along with the construction of a new computer lab and renovate the existing computer lab for a Special Education Classroom.
That bond vote passed April 1, 2014. One year later, several home school students broke the first ground toward the new addition of the Home School Program. The Home School Program was excited when they held their first classes in the new building in January 2016.
Now, not even a year and a half later you, as a board, want to move the home school program back to Washington Township, and share the building with the three- and four-year-old preschool programs.
That would give the home school program less space by sharing with the preschoolers, but it means you are rejecting what the voters within this school district approved.
How can you justify rejecting what the voters approved? If you go through with the fifth option, that was NEVER part of the initial survey sent out to parents and staff members, you are doing what you want to do and not what you were elected to do which is to serve the voters of the Mid-Prairie Community School District.
As a home school parent, I was excited to see the program get its own newly built space. I told many friends, family and community members that the school board really cares about the Home School program by doing this.
Now I am having second doubts about the future confidence the school board has toward families that choose to home school their children if you move them back to a smaller and older facility in which there is not enough space for them if you combine them with preschoolers.
I strongly urge you to discount all options of moving the home school program and leave them where they are and look at setting up boundaries for each of the elementary centers.
If you go through with the moving of the home school program, even if you do not combine them with the preschoolers, you will lose not only many home school families who bring quite a bit of revenue to this district, but you also will lose confidence of voters.
• Bill Gatchel, of Wellman, is a home school parent within the Mid-Prairie school district.