Outdated facility a disservice to kids

I am a teacher at North Middle School and for many years have taught my students to be critical readers, to express themselves clearly in their writing, and, I hope, to love the written word. When students leave my class, they go to our award-winning music, art, or robotics classes. They attend academic and physical fitness courses, interacting in engaging team-driven lessons delivered by highly qualified teachers who love their jobs. This year North earned a School of Distinction award for our outstanding improvement in student achievement over five years. Lots of wonderful things are happening at North Middle School.

Schools in our district are on a cycle for modernization, and North is on this year’s bond cycle. Kids have strong perceptions of fairness. When at athletic events or music concerts, they visit other area middle schools with their gleaming corridors, built-in furniture, and sunlight-filled public spaces. What must they think when they return to a school that was built in 1981 and — although regularly maintained — is aging? We do everything we can to enliven our classrooms and hallways with colorful posters and student work in order to create a welcoming learning environment, but there’s only so much we can do. Students’ feelings of self-worth are influenced by their environments, whether they are bright and shiny or dingy and dull. We have great students, teachers, administrators, and support staff … the piece students need now is a physical space that reflects all of the great work that is done here.

There is a bond issue coming up for vote on April 22 that will update North Middle, Woodside Elementary, and other schools, as well as delivering valuable upgrades and improvements all over the district. Please vote yes for the kids.

Rebecca Vigil