Keep J​.​E. Terry Elementary Open!

Keep J​.​E. Terry Elementary Open!

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Destinee Long started this petition to Dallas County Alabama Board of Education

On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, the Dallas County Board of Education announced via the Alabama News Network that surveys were being conducted to investigate the potential need to close 3 Dallas County Elementary schools, one of those schools being J.E. Terry Elementary. Based on the article shared by the Alabama News Network, the reasoning behind these surveys being conducted is because of the number of enrolled students at J.E. Terry Elementary school has decreased leaving empty buildings and there is a great potential for saving money by closing the school. In this petition are several reasons why J.E. Terry Elementary should remain open.             

The first reason is because of the location of the student population enrolled at J.E. Terry Elementary. The nearest neighboring elementary school in the Dallas County School District to J.E. Terry Elementary is Valley Grande Elementary, located in Valley Grande, Alabama. According to publicschoolreview.com, Valley Grande Elementary has approximately 509 students enrolled in grades PreK-6. There are approximately 26 grade teachers at Valley Grande Elementary, giving an average student to teacher ratio of 20:1. The average student to teacher ratio in Alabama is 18:1, thus Valley Grande Elementary exceeds the state ratio currently. Though you may could say that the teachers currently at J.E. Terry Elementary may be moved to Valley Grande Elementary, some of those teachers may decide to leave the school system altogether. In addition, the capacity for the number of students enrolled currently leaves no vacant classrooms to relocate teachers, leaving no choice but to physically expand the school which would take a considerable amount of time and money.  The next option for rerouting the students of J.E. Terry would be to move them to Dallas County High School. Because of the architecture of Dallas County High School, the only way to reroute the elementary students would be to ultimately integrate the elementary and high school students as neither of the buildings at Dallas County High School could house all of the students in one building. The only other way to effectively reroute to Dallas County would be to expand the school which would cost a significant amount of money and time. Neither of these options benefit the education of the students enrolled at J.E. Terry Elementary.                                           

The second reason to leave J.E. Terry Elementary open is because of the is the commute from Plantersville, Alabama to Valley Grande, Alabama. Each year at least 1 student on average is killed traveling from their home to Dallas County High School. In addition, many non-fatal accidents occur during the school year. By closing J.E. Terry Elementary and rerouting the students to Valley Grande, the number of buses on the road would increase, making the commute for students and others even more dangerous. In addition, it would put those students waiting at bus stops and loading and unloading buses at an even greater risk by waiting on the sides of the busiest roads during school hours. This extended commute does not benefit the education of the students enrolled at J.E. Terry Elementary.                                           

The third reason to keep J.E. Terry Elementary open is because the lower enrollment means more individualized teaching plans for students. With a ratio of 14:1, the students at J.E. Terry Elementary receive more 1:1 time with teachers. This additional time is reflected in the fact that according to the Alabama State Department of Education's Report Cards for 2018-2019, which is the last reported due to the COVID-19 pandemic, J.E. Terry Elementary's proficiency is 7.73% higher than the second ranked school in the county in reading, 14.41% higher than the second ranked school in the county in math, and 17.49% higher than the second ranked school in the county in science. Thus, closing the school and rerouting the students would ultimately lead to lower test scores because the individualized teaching would be lessened by the inevitable increase in student to teacher ratios. As reported by alabamanewsnetwork.com, Dallas County Board of Education Chairman William Minor states "Now we're not in the business of saving money. We're in the business of educating the boys and girls of Dallas County with the best education we can give them", to close the most proficient school in Dallas County, according to the most recent proficiency tests, would not benefit the students enrolled at J.E. Terry Elementary.                                           

In closing, J.E. Terry Elementary should remain open for many reasons.  To close J.E. Terry Elementary would lead to many challenges for the students, staff, and parents, for both J.E. Terry Elementary and whichever school those students are rerouted to. Closing J.E. Terry does not seem to offer but one benefit, and that is the money that would be saved. The saved money will not give the students attending J.E. Terry Elementary "the best education we can give them". Please join me in signing this petition to keep J.E. Terry Elementary open and continue to provide our students enrolled with the best education we can give them.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
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