Say No to Changing the Timeline for the New Middle School

Say No to Changing the Timeline for the New Middle School

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Catherine Mathews started this petition to Lower Merion School Board

We, the undersigned parents of 4th and 5th grade children at Penn Wynne Elementary, ask the School Board to intervene in Superintendent Copeland’s plan to remove our children from Bala Middle School in 2022.  We ask that you advocate for our children to remain at Bala for the entire three years of middle school for the following reasons:

1. Research shows that transitioning from one school to another school coincides with a decrease in academic performance and that educational policy should aim to minimize moves.  (Rumberger, 2015) Superintendent Copeland’s proposal will send our children to 4 schools in 4 years, requiring 3 transitions of school facilities, staff, and peer groups.  

2. The new middle school will not have completed playing fields in 2022.  There is no equitable situation to remedy this problem.   If 7th and 8th grade students are transported back to Bala Middle School to participate in sports, they will need to leave school 30-60 minutes early.  These students will be missing critical instructional and academic support time on a daily basis that their peers who remain at Bala will be afforded.   

3.  There is not sufficient evidence that Bala Middle School will be past capacity with use of modular classrooms in 2022.  There have been two sets of predictions used to plan for student populations in the past and this decision should not require less data.

We ask for the District to use the original transition timeline from the Community Meeting at Penn Wynne Elementary on February 26, 2019.  We assert that Superintendent Copeland’s new plan carries risks to academic performance, will create inequality within Lower Merion School District, and does not have enough supporting data to justify the risks.  We ask that the School Board intervenes and allows our children to remain at Bala Middle School the entire 3 years of middle school as originally planned.

Rumberger, Russell W. (2015). Student Mobility: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/student-mobility

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