Dear Dr. Gould,
My name is Britt and I am a Mom of a Kindergarten at Forestdale school. I will also have a Kindergartener next year entering Forestdale.
I have just left my son Ben’s Kindergarten celebration in Mrs. Elliotts class and was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for both Mrs. Elliot and Ms. Webb. Upon learning that they are cutting all K assistants next year, I ultimately left the school completely disheartened.
All day Kindergarten is already HUGE for 5 and 6 year old kids. Now Sandwich plans to have 1 teacher for 18 students for a full day. That makes my brain explode and feel like no one who knows anything about childhood development could be supporting this.
As an educator for the past ten years, I could not imagine being expected to do a full day Kindergarten class of 18 kids alone. That is a disservice to our children. We all know you need two adults for any group of young children. One to address whoever is crying, needs a bandaid, a shoe tied, loses a tooth, help finding something, extra encouragement, and one teacher to make sure the rest of the group keeps moving forward.
Kindergarten is not a place to save money. It is the foundation of our children’s education. It is a kid’s first experience with school. A one teacher system, would seem like a perfect system for kids to fall through the cracks right from the start.
Never mind the fact that we are going to be running our Kindergarten teachers into the ground. The only thing you should give your teachers is more support, not take it away.
Personally, this makes me know I should start looking for other school choices for my son who will be starting K in the Fall. Because maybe next year you will see how poor of a choice this was, but by then my son Jack will have already had his first ever year of school. Maybe you guys will learn and restructure the budget, but a whole grade of kids will have lost out on building a solid educational foundation.
Because why? Money? Is the answer money? If that’s the case, I would run 1,000 car washes to donate the money for Ms. Webb to be able to assist in my child’s classroom next year. What about an internship program for Sandwich High and students interested in studying education can go into Forestdale and work for the morning or partner with Upper Cape. There has to be more we can do than say, “welp, the grant is gone.” Because I’m sure as a community we could work together to support our smallest members.
I am genuinely confused by this choice and would love to hear more of why our school leadership team feels as though this is a good decision.
I unfortunately can not attend tonight, due to a commitment of teaching Yoga. I hope you take my concerns into consideration and know that my issue comes from a place of a Mom wanting to put her sons in the best environments for them to thrive.
Please let me know how I can help fundraise. Teaching Kindergarten is a team sport.
Britt Burbank & my homies in the class of 2032.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Sandwich School Committee Meeting is TONIGHT. These meetings are open.
JUNE 12, 2019
6:30PM Executive Session
7:00PM Regular Business Meeting
Sandwich Town Hall 130 Main St. Sandwich, MA 02563