Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Letters to the Editor

March 21, 2014

READER POINT OF VIEW: Don’t be scared of changes at Millersburg Elementary

As a parent in the Millersburg Elementary School (MES) district, I feel overwhelmed and confused about the proposed changes in the Fairfield Community School Corporation. The proposal is for a districtwide change to STEAM Schools — an accronym for integrating science, technology, engineering, arts, and math across disciplines. The exception is Millersburg Elementary, which will be a Practical Arts Academy. I left the Monday night’s community meeting filled with anxiety about how these changes will shape the school experience of my MES children.

We moved to Fairfield intentionally for a rural setting and small community feel. We have been more than pleased with our experience at Millersburg over the past six years and I’m not giving up on the idea that we can maintain what we have.

I want to reach out to other parents of MES students, knowing that you too are upset, confused and stressed about the proposed changes. I know it is difficult, but I challenge you to step away from your emotional reaction and think about what really will change at MES?

First and foremost know this: WE. LOVE. MES.

My daughter is in the third grade this year. She will be in fifth grade when the proposed changes would go into effect. We will keep her at MES. My youngest son will start kindergarten in 2015, so this change will affect his whole school experience. And I will send him to MES.

Here is our list of reasons we will keep our children at MES:

• Millersburg will continue to have great teachers. Many staff already integrate the 4C’s (creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration) and discovery model in the classroom.

• Teachers will have more training in how to engage students instead of teaching to a test.

• The practical emphasis gets more community involvement into the classroom. Community is the one of the things we love about MES. Our students will get an understanding of how classroom materials relate to real life.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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