Lee Thomson: Children ‘deserve more’
May 25, 2011
To the editor:
As is common knowledge, the Moffat County School District is in the process of dramatically reducing expenditures in a laudable effort to meet current financial setbacks.
Four years ago, Moffat County residents voted on a bond referendum to build a desperately needed middle school as well as other capital improvements. The bond passed and a beautiful new middle school was built, designed with input from both the public and teaching staff to reflect a "middle school model."
The average U.S. citizen equates "middle school" with "junior high." They are not the same in either philosophy or method.
Craig Middle School was architecturally designed and built to expressly promote a true middle school. It has wings or floors dedicated to each grade, with a common area in each wing for cooperative teaching. Each grade has core teams of teachers — science, social studies, language arts (English) and mathematics.
In a true middle school, every student is part of a team. Every student knows that his or her teachers work together to promote individualized learning and interdisciplinary instruction. For example, a science and language arts teacher could collaborate on a lesson combining the two subjects, increasing relevance and value to students.
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Moffat County has implemented this middle school model for the past eight years with much success.
Unfortunately, budget cuts have eliminated several Craig Middle School teaching positions. CMS will no longer have grade level core teams and teachers will be unable to collaborate as effectively as they have done in the recent past.
Moffat County residents may believe these staff cuts will have no real impact on our children's learning and education.
The fact is, however, we planned, bought, and are paying for a middle school. Are there other ways to trim an unwieldy budget?
Our children are our future. Surely they deserve more from their education than the current budget plan will provide.