On behalf of the Otwell Elementary PTO Board Members and concerned parents of students of Otwell Elementary School, we want to address the issue of the possible reduction to our Preschool Program. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The students who tested at OES Kindergarten Round-Up this spring had high test scores, and we believe that our Preschool Program and Preschool Staff at OES are to thank for these high scores. Our Preschool Program provides a strong foundation to begin these students' education. It provides students who may not have the financial means of attending preschool the opportunity to do so. This is so important in beginning a young child's journey in their education. These children can enter Kindergarten with the necessary academic and social skills required to be successful.
A second concern in reducing the Preschool Program is the number of children this will affect. It is affecting half of the students who are already enrolled into Preschool. Twenty two children are enrolled and presently thinking they will be attending OES Preschool. If the Preschool Classes are cut, only ten students will be accepted into the program. This leaves twelve students without a preschool program for the fall. Registration and enrollment time periods are already completed for most area programs. So what are these students to do for their preschool education? It is a huge injustice to these children to leave them behind.
One other area of concern is staffing for the OES Preschool Program. The current staff will be really stretched if one of them is assigned the preschool class. We must begin from the ground up, it is crucial in the education of our future children. In the Evansville Courier and Press, EVSC's Superintendant described their school's commitment to early childhood education as critical to its future academic success. We could not agree more with this statement.
In conclusion, we would like to place emphasis on working together as the Pike County School Corporation. How can we work together within the school corporation to make all of our programs a success? We should be working together for the future of Pike County as a whole. We have some truly wonderful programs happening in Pike County, and we need to work together to build these programs. Class sizes are both an issue at Winslow and Petersburg. Parents and teachers complain about having such large class sizes at the other two schools while Otwell Elementary needs more students. It would benefit the entire corporation as a whole to redistrict and even out the class sizes throughout the three elementary schools. Redistricting would eliminate the large class sizes and provide every student an equal opportunity to receive the best education possible. With the school corporation budget being very tight, this also solves the issue of not needing additional teachers being hired in the other two schools. This appears to be the best solution, but it is up to everyone in the corporation to come together for the benefit of all.
If you are in favor of Otwell Elementary having two preschools next year both AM and PM like the two other elementary schools in the county and if you believe redistricting is needed to balance the number of students in the three elementary schools, please sign this petition.
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