Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Keep ninth-graders in junior high

The following is a copy of a letter to the Davis Board of Education:

I am writing because I am very concerned about the impending decision regarding moving ninth-graders to Davis High School. I have three children in the district (10th at DHS, sixth and fourth at North Davis). I feel very strongly that ninth grade should stay at the junior highs.

I am concerned about the lack of transparency with regard to this decision. Why and how is this the best decision for our students? I do not believe it is the best decision, but I am open to seeing and hearing the information and research data that supports this large change in the structure of our schools.

The specific reasons I do not currently support this decision are:

* I believe very strongly in the emotional and social development of our students and can see the incredible benefits that come to our students via being on a junior high campus for their ninth-grade year. Those benefits include the leadership roles these students embody to their fellow junior high members, significantly lower dropout rates and reduction in high-risk behaviors typical in a 9-12 setting.

* DHS is already incredibly crowded. I was shocked to find that my 10th-grade son had to share a locker, had no place to eat on campus in the rain and was in a class for the first two weeks of school where students were seated on the floor due to no space for additional desks in the room. (Eventually, several students dropped that class and now there are enough desks.)

I understand that to accommodate the ninth grade at DHS there will be a minimum of 37 students in class, all classrooms will be used for all periods (allowing no prep time for our DHS teachers) and there will be limited to no options for students to change their schedules due to the number of students’ schedules that will be impacted. I do not believe this is a better situation for anyone … especially our ninth-grade students.

Please keep this process transparent, allow for public comment and discussion, and please provide us with data to support your position.

Kristen Muir

Davis

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 1 comment

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  • RobertMarch 11, 2013 - 11:38 pm

    Thank you for your letter, Kristen. With so many big problems and shrinking resources, why the school board is taking on this issue is beyond me and every other parent I've heard discussing it. Exploring whether it's a positive or negative to have 9th graders in junior high, when much of the rest of the nation puts them in high school, should be item number 157 on the board's to-do list. Plus, given the school district is so strapped for cash, expending resrouces to research the topic isn't prudent, not to mention the cost that would be involved should they also decide to move 9th grade to DHS. Let's stay focused on the real problems hitting schools and parents in the face, not potential very low priority ones.

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