12 Nov Vote YES for Students on Dec. 10th
The reality is that by the 2017/2018 school year, Minot Public Schools will see a 35% enrollment increase over the previous decade. These 2,143 students have and will place increased pressure on numerous schools that are currently at or already over capacity.
More than 475 students are currently being taught in 24 portable classrooms located at seven different elementary schools throughout Minot. Portable classrooms are in use at Bel Air Elementary (3), Perkett Elementary (2), Edison Elementary (2), McKinley Elementary (1), Sunnyside Elementary (3), Washington Elementary (9) and Jim Hill Middle School (4).
To deal with the overcrowding of schools in Minot our local school board and school administrators, led by Superintendent Mark Vollmer, are asking the citizens of Minot to approve a $125 million bond issue to assist in the building of a new elementary school, the addition of another high school and improvements to Central Campus to convert it into a third middle school.
The current overcrowding situation within Minot Public Schools is not just inconvenient, but is entirely unsafe.
At Washington Elementary School, one of the newest elementary schools in the district, hundreds of students walk a football field length to and from their portable classroom several times a day for lunch break, music and physical education classes and for any bathroom breaks. It is estimated these students lose over a full day a week of instructional time due to disruptions from kids going in and out of the portables.
Sunnyside Elementary School, which had an addition built in 2010 that allowed for all of the portable classrooms to be moved off of school grounds, now has four portable classrooms back on school grounds. These portables have covered the teacher parking lot forcing teachers to park on the street east of the school and causing traffic to be rerouted and another portable classroom sits right on the playground.
All of these students will be filtering to Jim Hill Middle School within the next five years. Jim Hill is already over capacity and has four portable classrooms on school grounds.
Jim Hill teacher, Britni Schmalz, talks about the struggles she witnesses with overcrowded classrooms:
“We are over capacity the way it is, which is a huge safety risk. Throughout the year I have had 23-28 students in each class, and we are getting new students everyday. It’s very hard to manage that many students and also make sure all students are learning while providing interventions and accommodations for children in need. I leave school most days wondering how long I can stay in the business of teaching, because I am overwhelmed as a teacher trying to meet all the needs of my students in my overloaded classroom.”
Without the passing of the bond issue many classrooms will see thirty or more students each and Minot Public Schools will be forced to redraw the district lines causing many students to change schools.
There are many opportunities to vote on the issue…
Absentee ballot applications are now available online at here or you can call (701) 857-6420 to have one mailed directly to your home.
Early Voting will also be available at the Ward County Courthouse in the Ex-Servicemen’s Room on December 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th from 11a.m. to 6p.m.
Election Day – December 10th – Polls open from 7a.m. to 7p.m.
The Visit Minot Board of Directors is in unanimous support of the bond issue and urges voters to “Vote YES for Students”!
We are excited to be helping distribute vehicle window decals in the parking lot of the Minot Visitors Center (1020 South Broadway) Thursday, November 14th from 3p.m. to 6p.m.
Stop by and get a decal put in your car window to show your support for the Minot Public Schools bond issue!
For more information please call Visit Minot at (701) 857-8206.