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Charter School is excellent

JENNIFER JOHNSON

Loganton

I am writing in reference to the upcoming renewal of the Sugar Valley Rural Charter School contract.

Sugar Valley Rural Charter School is an excellent school for children. We feel the small class sizes are one of the most important aspects of a learning environment. Small class sizes allow the teacher to focus on each child, as an individual, to be sure he is comprehending the material.

We have three children currently enrolled in SVRCS and they would be struggling if they were enrolled in Public School, just as their oldest sibling did. He started kindergarten, in 2009, in public school, initially it went very well. However, first through fourth grades were very difficult. He quickly lost interest, fell behind and was failing. This is mainly because of the overwhelming teacher to child ratio. There are simply too many children for one teacher to give the much-needed attention to each individual child. During the third marking period of his second-grade year, his teacher called a meeting and acknowledged he was having trouble focusing…her suggestion was to “medicate or try a comfort vest.” This suggestion was inappropriate, considering he is not afflicted with ADHD, Autism or any sensory processing disorder. He was simply having trouble comprehending the material. We felt the teachers in previous grades were missing these signs. He was to the point that he didn’t enjoy school at all, and homework was a horrible ordeal every evening.

During his fourth-grade year, the classes were combined into one. This exacerbated the entire situation. His teacher seemed to be the only person within the school system who was concerned for his well-being and education, but her hands were tied.

The following school year we sent our oldest (going into fifth grade) and our middle child (going into first grade) to SVRCS. This decision was not made in haste. It was difficult to make a conscious decision to extend our children’s school day from 8-9 hours to 10-11 hours, including travel. It was a decision well made and had an enormous positive impact on our children! Our oldest child was comprehending the material and therefore by the end of that year had significant improvement in his grades. As I said earlier, all three of our children are currently enrolled at SVRCS and the youngest two also enjoy school and have experienced success. Homework is no longer a battle, unlike the beginning of our oldest child’s academic journey.

It would be a terrible loss to close the school. The teachers, staff and volunteers at SVRCS all have a common ideal…their top priority is the education and welfare of each child. They are quick to action if there is an issue and helpful in finding a solution for the good of the child.

I’m asking, that after reading the points I’ve made, it is seriously considered to keep the school open. Keeping SVRCS open will not only have a positive outcome for my family but also for the families of future students.

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