Letter to the editor – Kristie Hurley

To the editor,

We have lived in Jefferson for 38 years. Bob and I chose to raise our children here and we have retired and choose to reside in Jefferson. As a parent whose three children attended Greene County Schools from elementary to high school and now as a grandparent whose two grandchildren are now attending Greene County Middle School, nothing is more important to me than their education. For children to be successful later in life; a solid foundation and the best tools to build upon that foundation are essential.

Our new facility would meet modern standards for safety and would also support technological advancements. Education is one of the best gifts we can give our children. Now is the time to act so that all children can benefit from the necessary changes to the schools. I stand with so many concerned parents and grandparents in support of the bond issue on Election Day, April 3rd. Let your voices be heard that education is important.

Our school environment should not be ignored. The school district and the teachers are doing the best they can with what they have. Greene County has a great school system with great educators. Students and teachers spend much of their day in school classrooms and it is our responsibility to foster an environment and atmosphere that enhances learning and developing a classroom environment conducive to learning.
The middle school is so crowded that we have fifth graders in classrooms in the basement next to the boiler rooms that probably were not intended to be classrooms with small windows and no nearby bathrooms. It seems that these rooms should be used for storage.

These students attend “Base Camp” and science in their basement classroom and fortunately can rotate classrooms and go out to rooms with more natural light for PE, music, clubs, and art.

What is going on at the middle school currently may not be causing huge problems, but I don’t think it is desirable. The physical environment of school buildings and school grounds to students, staff, and visitors must be designed and maintained to be free of health and safety hazards, be handicap accessible and promote learning.

All these concerns are not something our school officials can change, and I am willing to pay a little more in my taxes to get the kids out of the Middle school and allow them to eat in a proper cafeteria and not the gymnasium.

First, we need to provide our youth with the education and leadership skills they need to be successful and productive today. And we need to teach our students life skills to be productive positive members of our community. Our teachers and kids deserve to teach and learn in safe, comfortable environments.

Iowa Central Community College is wanting to add an ICCC Career Academy in joint location with Greene County High School. High school juniors and seniors will take the regional academy’s courses, which will provide high school and college credit for the students. The college credits can reduce a student’s college cost by thousands of dollars. The vocational career academy will offer hands on education and experience in the real world such as welding, agriculture technology, healthcare, hospitality and service employment, helping those kids who are not interested in pursuing a four-year degree but teaching them job skills. The facility will also meet modern standards for safety and support technological advancements.

Greene County needs to have this school bond issue pass. We all want Greene County to grow. Now is the time to act so that all children can benefit from the necessary changes that need to take place in our schools. What a wonderful opportunity to place all up-to-date safety equipment such as cameras, metal detectors, secure doors, and a resource police officer in all schools. I stand with so many concerned parents in support of the bond issue on Election Day April 3rd. Let your voices be heard that education and safety of our students and staff is essential.

There is no doubt that the Sports Complex would be a worthy investment, allowing our students to participate and compete in sports and activities offered by our middle school and high school. Sports can add so much to a student’s learning power and job skills not to mention their overall physical and mental health. Sports make students more connected to their school. Sports also provides students with opportunities to problem solve, communicate better, have a good relationship with others, as well as being a team player. But I emphasize, let us find ways to focus on all student’s strengths and not just the outstanding athletes. All students need to be motivated, supported, and believed in.

If I vote “no” for this bond issue, I am telling my 10-year-old granddaughter and 14-year-old grandson that they may never see any school improvements during their academic careers. Here is an opportunity for us to stand up and show that we support education.

Vote “yes” on Election Day, Tuesday April 3rd. Empower youth to become tomorrow’s leaders.

Kristie Hurley, Jefferson

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