Save our Cedar Rapids Neighborhoods and our Neighborhood Schools
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The administration of the Cedar Rapids Community School District has developed and is presenting to the school board a master facilities plan that will change the face of education in Cedar Rapids for decades to come. But we believe, it also has a significant unintended and unaccounted for consequence - it will also drive negative change within many of our neighborhoods as the anchors of many of our neighborhoods - our schools - are closed and consolidated to save long term operating costs.
We are asking the School Board to take our city and its' neighborhoods into account, looking beyond the hype of all new and remodeled schools and see the potential and substantial negative impacts this may have on the neighborhoods they once served.
We therefore urge the Cedar Rapids Community School District to Re-Imagine, Re-Envision, and Re-Invest in a new plan that does not look at closing our neighborhood Elementary schools based on just long-term fiscal cost to maintain the structures.
We ask for a new plan that:
- Looks at each Elementary as a core and integral part of their specific and their surrounding neighborhoods
- Examines and plans for the impact on core historical neighborhoods, including the impact each closure will have on our city’s historical neighborhoods home values, character of the neighborhood, and neighborhood community space.
- Considers intangibles such as high levels of parent and community (non-parent) involvement that is found in local neighborhood schools demonstrating a community vesting in our neighborhood schools, students, and staff.
- Specific to Grant Wood and Erskine, considers the revitalization and construction of Mt. Vernon Road that the City of Cedar Rapids has planned for the next 10 years and how this road re-development will affect growth within the Grant Wood and Erskine area.
- Considers the revitalization and neighborhood changes currently underway in the NewBo district and the rapidly changing attitudes towards desiring urban living, and the educational infrastructure that will be required to support it.
- Looks closer at the “WHY” of families choosing to opt out of CRSCD.
- Involves the neighborhood associations, community members, parents, and staff input at every level of decision-making verses email driven surveys.
- Considers the fact that MANY of the families attending CRCSD chose this district due having “neighborhood schools” which differentiates us from other districts.
- Puts the plan up for public vote for the citizens of the district to decide, instead of making it a district administrative decision.
- Is fiscally responsible: that includes strong consideration of Retention. Renovation and the Proactive maintenance of our schools that will benefit not only the children of our district but the strength and well-being of all Cedar Rapid neighborhoods and our entire school community.
We ask that the current plan be either tabled indefinitely or voted "NO" on until a plan that ensures the above topics are addressed and can be presented to the people of Cedar Rapids.
If you are interested in learning more, we wholeheartedly welcome you to join the community conversation on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/saveCRneighborhoods
Thanks you for your time and consideration
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