Keep Central open until West can accommodate all Muscatine middle school students

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The consolidation of Muscatine elementary schools paired with moving 6th grade into the elementary buildings has resulted in overcrowding in our schools and undesirable circumstances for our students and teachers. The current situation has negatively impacted the academic experiences of students and staff, and we are concerned that if it is not addressed, the challenges will escalate. Here are some of the negative effects of the recent changes:

  • Classrooms - large class sizes; not enough room for all sections, resulting in makeshift classrooms in libraries and other mixed-use areas not conducive to focusing and learning; in general, overcrowding and inadequate facilities
  • Lunch - long wait times, paired with not enough room or time for students to eat
  • Transportation - excessive congestion leading to safety concerns

Based on the ramifications of this year's changes, we are concerned that a merged middle school will likely experience similar effects, only on a greater scale because the student population is larger. Some concerns are as follows:

  • Overcrowding; inadequate classroom, hallway, cafeteria, and locker room space
  • Transportation and parking issues
  • Inadequate sports facilities 
  • Lack of auditorium space
  • Potentially more disciplinary issues

As parents and community members, we ask that the Muscatine Community School District consider moving 6th grade back into the middle schools, and take at least a year (if not more) before moving ahead with a consolidated middle school. Waiting until West Middle School (Susan Clark Junior High) has built an addition and updated the facilities to fit the incoming student body will ensure that our students will have a positive experience at school and will receive the quality education they deserve.