Pre-K/Daycare in the Red Pod
The Guilderland Board of Education has recently signed a contract with Victory Child Care - Day Care to place pre-k classes in Pine Bush and Altamont Elementary schools, as well as Farnsworth Middle School. Unfortunately, the board has done this with no transparency, and has refused to consider the concerns of the teachers, students and parents who are affected by the changes to come. The Board's decisions have taken place largely behind closed doors, and with disregard and disrespect for anyone expressing concerns about their plans.
The Board decided to place the two Pine Bush pre-k classrooms in the middle of the "blue pod", directly between two kindergarten classes. Additionally, a chain-link fence playground is being installed outside of these kindergarten rooms. If our student population grows at all, an extra class will be necessary in order to comply with acceptable class sizes. Should this occur, some of our teachers will be required to move their classes to the red pod, thus breaking up the continuum of learning structure that has long been part of the Pine Bush experience.
Pine Bush teachers and parents have gone before the Board and requested that they reconsider these decisions. We are concerned about the distraction that these pre-school children will pose to our youngest learners, as well as the disruption caused to our educational community. We have also reminded the Board that for years a pre-k program (ECEC) operated successfully in the red pod. We have requested that any necessary modifications to the red pod be made, and that pre-school classes be housed there instead. This will allow Victory to have the space they need, without interrupting the learning of our Pine Bush students, and without disrupting the educational progression of our community.
Unfortunately, the Board has refused to even consider our request. They reviewed and signed a contract without any voter input. Then they scheduled a vote (on an already accepted contract) for April 12, but quietly held a their vote at a "special meeting" on April 7 instead, without any public notification. Those who attempt to comment to the board have been cut off before finishing, and members of the board have engaged in verbal attacks on those who dare to speak on this issue.
Clearly members of the Guilderland Board of Education have decided that their priorities, and those of Victory Day Care, supersede the wishes and needs of the Pine Bush community.
We ask you to show your support, sign this petition, and tell the board to respect the wishes and needs of BOTH the Pine Bush community AND Victory Daycare, by making the necessary changes and moving the pre-k program into the red pod.
Please share this with as many people as possible.
Thank you for your support.
UPDATE: We would like to thank Dr. Wiles and Mr. Sanders for their willingness to hear concerns at the June 21 meeting.