Parents Against Sending 5th Graders to Walsh MS
In an effort to relieve the overcrowding at Cactus Ranch Elementary School for the 09-10 school year, an idea is being considered by the Round Rock ISD Boundary Committee to place 5th grade students at the Walsh Middle School Campus. This scenario raises many questions and concerns for the parents of these children with regard to their safety and their education. The idea of putting children as young as 9 years old with teenagers as old as 14 or 15 is troubling in itself. Although there would be effort to create separation, there is no guarantee of this in all cases. It is unknown how lunch, recess and specials would be handled. Needs such as separate bathrooms, nursing, counseling, TAG, SAIL and other learning services would have to be met. Library access and the children's exposure to age appropriate literature and materials would be a concern. The possibility that the children would have to be shuttled back to Cactus Ranch for some of these services every day makes for a disruptive and disjointed day for the children and poses logistical challenges for the staff and students at CRE. This is not real relief for Cactus Ranch. Although a few classrooms might open up, it most likely does nothing to reduce the number of students in the lunchroom, in specials, out on the playground, in clubs or in other school sponsored events. None of this is necessary, and as a parent of a child who would be affected by this proposal, I don't believe I should have to entertain such a proposition. Elementary school children should have the right to attend their neighborhood elementary school. Our children are already exposed to more than they should be and moving these children to middle school a year early is reckless and unnecessary, affecting their emotional and educational development. There is a strong likelihood that these kids would not feel as if they belong at either campus. Families having children in grades Kinder through 5th would be split apart, and this will cause anxiety in many cases. I believe the Committee should consider other options that do not include taking 5th graders out of the school in which they belong. There are at least 2 nearby elementary schools in the district that could, for one year, easily support students that will be attending the new Stone Oak Elementary in 2010. Both Teravista and Avery Ranch have neighborhood schools that are well below capacity and could help shoulder the burden of our growing population that Cactus Ranch has, up to this point, carried alone. If you are against moving 5th graders from Cactus Ranch and placing them at Walsh Middle School, please sign your name and e-mail address to this petition.