We, the undersigned neighborhood residents, strongly support the creation of a new school in the former St. Thomas Aquinas schoolhouse, and hereby formally petition that the new school should include children who live on 8th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues, the block immediately west of the building.
Our block has a strong community that will nourish and support the new school. In fact, some members of our Block Association already feel connected to the new school since, many years ago, that building housed their local parish school. Currently, many of our Block Association members are active in community arts, music, environmental, and sports organizations that could add value to the new school. Neighborhood schools should function as a pillar of the community, and vice versa -- schools benefit greatly when students live in close proximity as this facilitates both family involvement in the school, as well as social interaction among students and their families.
Excluding the children from the block immediately below the school would be an affront to the community. It sends an undesirable message of social, racial and economic exclusion to the children growing up in the shadow of the building. Indeed, making this very small adjustment to the rezoning plan as it is currently proposed would foster greater diversity at the new school that will enrich the educational experiences of all students.
Thank you in advance for supporting us on this highly important issue.