Renae Dove: Yes on 3A in best interest of youths

— As I look forward to the positive future of the children of Moffat County, I cannot help but feel pride at being involved in our children's lives on a daily basis.

The Moffat County School District is asking for this community to put our children's future education in the forefront by voting yes on 3A Our Kids/Our Community.

I want to take this opportunity to explain an important aspect of this referendum; but first I want to review our current school district configuration.

The school district has an Early Childhood Center housed at the school administration building on Yampa Avenue. This facility provides preschool for 120 children prior to entering kindergarten.

The district also has three elementary schools - East, Sunset, and Ridgeview. These schools offer grades kindergarten through fourth grade. Our district is fortunate to have a rural school in Maybell that also houses kindergarten through fourth grades.

Craig Intermediate School educates the fifth- and sixth-graders in our community and Craig Middle School educates the seventh and eighth grades. Of course, the high school covers grades nine to 12.

If a child enters the school system in preschool, he/she will make four major transitions to new buildings, with new teachers and new rules and expectations. These transitions can cause undue stress on our children and their families. Research conducted by the school district administration showed reducing the number of transitions is one of the most important factors affecting student achievement. That is why one of the important changes MCSD is planning to make is the re-configuration of our schools.

To begin and end the pre-k through elementary school years in the same school would be ideal. For this to happen, the district would have four elementary schools that would educate preschool through fifth grade. Then students would transition to the middle level for grades sixth to eighth. The last transition for students would be entering high school.

Our current elementary school facilities - East, Sunset, and Ridgeview - can accommodate these changes with minor improvements for the additions of preschool. CIS would become the fourth elementary school with facility improvements to accommodate the younger elementary grades and preschool. CMS would go through a renovation process that would enable the school to keep the most valuable assets (gymnasium, Industrial Arts building, auditorium) and build new classrooms to accommodate the current and future needs of middle-level students.

MCHS and Maybell schools would not be affected by the reorganization. As a mom of a fourth-grader and a teacher in the Moffat County School District, I am excited about the future possibilities for our schools and community. I strongly encourage all of the voters of Moffat County to vote Yes on 3A.

Renae Dove

Moffat County Education Association President

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