Letter to the Editor: Transfer fifth graders to local middle schools


I am in favor of changing some boundary lines for some of our Shenandoah County students. Before new division lines are drawn up, I believe another option should be considered. When our middle schools were built, I believe the “powers that be” planned to house fifth through eighth graders in middle schools. Later, probably “new powers that be” were elected and they decided that “little Johnny” or “little Mary,” going into the fifth grade, were just too young to be schooled with sixth through eighth graders so fifth graders were left behind at elementaries for an extra year. This decision started overcrowding at elementaries.

As a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, I know there is too much difference in age, size and mentality between fifth and eighth graders.

By the way, just how young are the “little bitty” children being educated in our school system and where are they being schooled?

It is my belief that affected fifth graders, their parents and their teachers would rather be transferred to the local middle school than to end up in another campus five to 20 miles away. It is true some students on the edge of division lines will have to attend a different campus, (northern to central campus and central to southern campus). It will not be necessary to move southern campus students (except fifth graders) to another campus because the southern campus is not overcrowded.

I am a Toms Brook High School class of 1955 graduate. This school housed all grades — first through  12th graders were able to co-exist and ride buses without harm.

Surely there is someone employed in our school system who can estimate how transferring fifth graders to middle schools would help alleviate overcrowding. It shouldn’t be necessary to continue to outsource at taxpayers expense. If there is no one capable of acquiring this information under Dr. Raley’s supervision, I conclude:

  • They are incapable of doing their jobs. (Why are they still on school payroll?)
  • They are grossly overpaid and some positions need to be eliminated

I look forward to reading this report in the very near future.

Phyllis Habron, Toms Brook