No kids in portable classrooms
No kids in portable classrooms
Why this petition matters
Since before the 2022-2023 school year commenced on 8/10/22, my family, our community, fellow 5th grade parents, students, teachers, and school staff are feeling extremely anxious and stressed. We were recently notified that all 5th graders would be placed in portable classrooms at the Malala Yousafzai Elementary school (MYE).
The location of the portables is too close to the feeder/frontage road (currently under construction) and Grand Parkway (99). The 4 portables (8 classrooms) flank the playground which is behind the school. There is only a metal fence bordering the school property.
Here are some estimated measurements to put things in perspective:
- The portable closest to fence is about 15 - 20 feet from fence.
- The fence is 20 -30 feet from the feeder road.
- Full length of the walkway to get back from farthest portable to the school is over a minute walk.
1. In 2017 an 18-wheeler was traveling southbound on the Grand Parkway when it veered across the median, onto the feeder road and then into the Shogun Japanese Grill restaurant. The truck hit two vehicles in the process. Thankfully more were not hurt as this occurred around 9am. That restaurant was destroyed. The trucker died and three others suffered minor injuries. That restaurant is located further from the feeder road as the portables because of the parking lot.
2. The speed limit on Grand parkway is 60-65mp and feeder/frontage roads are 40-45mph. We all know folks speed on all roadways. The portable metal walls and doors are strong but not impact proof. That leaves the portables and playground extremely exposed to getting slammed into by vehicles traveling 40-85mph!!! Accidents happen at any time. There is no safety drill to prepare them for a motor vehicle crashing into their portable classrooms.
3. The metal walls and the doors for the portable classrooms are “strong” but not bullet proof. In this day and age, school shootings are an unfortunate reality. Who is to say a shooter won’t just shoot through the walls of the portables?
4. Kids in portables are exposed to a lot of distracting noise from playground, feeder/frontage road traffic and Grand Parkway traffic. How is that conducive to learning?
5. Someone can easily climb the fence and reach the portables before getting noticed without enough time for police action or kids and teachers to come into the main building for safety.
6. When it rains the rain hitting the portable is very distracting (my older daughter told me this was her experience as a 5th grader in a portable at a different school)
7. When weather is extreme, those in portables must come into the building to shelter. My older daughter told me this was her experience as a 5th grader in a portable at a different school. If we have the space to shelter those kids, then let’s just keep them in the building all year long.
8. When weather is extreme, as we know it is here in Texas, the 5th graders are exposed to it when switching classes, going to restroom, nurse, outclass, etc.
9. My older daughter mentioned the ac in her portables didn’t always work. Who can focus and learn in a heat box/oven???
10. Cameras are monitored on a as needed basis. The principal said there is a lot of staff teacher movement so a dedicated person to monitor the cameras is not needed. That is not enough. We have a whole grade out there so close to the grand parkway and feeder/frontage road. The school staff is out there only for recess or outdoor PE. Both do not last all day long and outdoor PE is not a regular occurrence. The teachers should be monitoring kids at recess or at PE and not have to split their focus to watch the fence and portables. Splitting their focus puts everyone at risk.
1. Convert grade pods within the building into actual classrooms for 5th graders by installing doors and 2 walls. That way kids are inside, have same amount of security as kids in the building, have quick and easy access to bathrooms, nurse, outclasses, cafeteria, etc. The kids won’t have to be subject to heat, rain, or cold switching teachers, going into main building for anything.
2. Move outclasses to portables so the whole school can share in the burden of being in portables.
3. Revaluating who is zoned to MYE by address. It does not make sense for the Old Orchard subdivision, or similar subdivisions, to travel all the way to MYE when they pass other elementary schools (Oyster creek and Madden), or certain Aliana subdivision sections (Ashgrove and Lamplight (my section)) to go to MYE when they are closer to Madden elementary.
4. Revaluate who is going to MYE, with preference to kids who attended 2021-2022. Close the campus to new students who must attend a sister school that is not over capacity.
5. Install or strongly influence whichever Texas department is responsible to install a permanent brick wall along the fence that borders feeder road and 99 to protect kids on playground and portables from cars, noise, pedestrians.
6. Employ a dedicated security person for MYE
7. Employ a dedicated person to monitor all cameras
Solutions #1-5 are most feasible, with the first being the quickest. While it is not ideal that the kids and staff are in the portables for any length of time, if the time is temporary 2-3 months that is acceptable while the other solutions are implemented.
The district should have foreseen the issue we are having now with overcapacity. As a parent I saw a few years ago that the class of 2030 had more classes than classrooms were available in the grade level pods. We went from 6 classes per grade to 7 and now 8. The community is only growing larger, and the schools can’t keep up. If portables were to be used, placement should have been planned more even before building MYE began.
Please sign this petition to get our kids out of the portables and into the school. They should be kids and not have to worry for their safety daily in their home away from home. They should be focused on learning and making friends, not if a car or truck will crash into them or intruder can get them or shoot them. The more signatures the district sees the more likely we will be heard and get all students and staff in the main school building.