Dear School Board Members,
I am a former Hanover county teacher and current parent of two children at Cool Spring Elementary school.
I thought of writing you because I was just asked to complete the parent survey which for the past six years consisted of glowing remarks. For the first time, my remarks were much less positive.
As a former teacher and parent, I do not want to contribute to low marks for our schools. I do not want to make Hanover seem like a less than stellar place to be. I want to protect our reputation and be proud of my community.
However, when seriously looking at the questions I had to be honest.
I am appalled at class sizes this year. 27 third graders crammed in a room that should have at least four less bodies is not a conducive learning environment.
My third grader is an excellent student and has always loved school. She has a fantastic teacher. Yet, her teacher can not compensate for the tight spaces and noise levels that occur with that many bodies in a room not meant to accommodate them. I have seen her attitude about school change. I have seen her level of work change. I do not look forward to this downward trend if these class sizes continue.
I know Hanover County has prided itself on spending less per pupil than many other districts. I congratulate the county on making sure they do not have wasteful spending. I implore you to not make further cuts on necessities like making sure teachers have the supplies, technology, and ability to meet all the needs of their students. I worked in Hanover ten years ago and enjoyed teaching in classrooms of 20-21 students…I think you wonder what is five to seven or so more? Well, it is 25% more….that is like telling a mother she will have quadruplets instead of triplets…a huge change of quality of life for mother and babies.
Please consider not only educational benchmarks when making funding decisions. Please consider the welfare of our teachers and students. Students cannot succeed if they feel like cattle being driven into pens.
Give our teachers the opportunity to teach our students in a realistic and optimal manner.