Rondout Valley: 5th Grade is Elementary
We strongly request the Rondout Valley Board of Education to move 5th grade back to the elementary schools, beginning with the 2011-12 school year. We believe the elementary school environment is more appropriate for 9-10 year olds. We are concerned that many 5th graders are too young to confidently handle the transition to a larger, more complex, more stressful, and more issue-laden school environment. We further are concerned with the issues involved with bussing 5th graders with 6th-12th graders.
With the decline in enrollment, all of the district's elementary schools are easily large enough to accommodate their respective 5th grade classes. All of the schools have empty classrooms. This is a move that would benefit all of our 5th grade students, at no cost to the district.
In our region, it is much more typical for middle school to begin at 6th or 7th grade than at 5th grade. We believe that 5thgraders will be much more confident, calm, and prepared to learn in the elementary environment, and that they will flourish there. We urge the Board of Education to take immediate action in considering this proposal.