Dear School Board Members, We, the undersigned, support the construction of a K - 8 School in Nokesville, VA. Nokesville Elementary School was build nearly 100 years ago and designed to meets the needs of rural children being raised in the 1920's. School staff struggle to implement modern teaching techniques in classrooms that were built long before computers were even imagined. Not only are classrooms below state standards for size, there aren't enough electrical outlets in each classroom for today's educational requirements, there are no indoor rooms available for the school counselor, the school nurse maintains an office in what was originally designed to be a coat closet, the cafeteria, hallways, and gymnasium do not meet state standards, and hot water is often not available in the kitchen or bathrooms. Marsteller Middle School, our local middle school, is severely overcrowded. In the Fall of 2012, the school, which was built to house 1,233 students, will be 25%, or 310 students, overcapacity. Already nearly one entire grade level, 7th grade, attends classes outside the building because there aren't enough classrooms. The academic day begins at 8:10 and ends at 2:40. in order to accomodate all of the students, the first lunch shift is served at 10:00. The last lunch shift ends at 1:35. Unfortunately, no new middle schools are planned in the county until 2018. By 2018, Marsteller's enrollment will have risen to 1,745 students, which is 42% overcapacity (more than 500 students overcapacity). Nokesville Elementary school needs to be replaced and additional middle school seats need to be added in the Nokesville area. Building a K - 8 school, with 600 elementary seats, 300 middle school seats, and 48 special ed seats, will give our community a new elementary school and desperately needed additional middle school seats. Enrollment at Marsteller after the K - 8 opens in Nokesville in the Fall of 2014 will drop from 1,615 to 1,315 students, leaving school at roughly 104% of capacity. Enrollment will rise at Marsteller, but with 300 fewer students it is not projected to exceed 115% of capacity by 2018 when the new middle school is scheduled to open in the county. We believe that the K - 8 will provide much needed relief to severe overcrowding at Marsteller Middle School and will replace the nearly 100 year old Nokesville Elementary School with a school building that is able to meet the needs of a modern student population, and meets state health, ADA, and size requirements. We also believe that the K - 8 will serve the longer term needs of the Nokesville and Prince William County communities by providing a K - 8 school that serves the local population living in the rural crescent. As such, we express our support for the K - 8 school in Nokesville and encourage the Prince William County School Division to build the school. Thank-you.
Zara Tirrell as a private, individual PWC citizen
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