Here are 10 good reasons to put the paired elementary schools, Lapham and Marquette, into one building.
- The school would be a K-5 school, like most elementary schools in the District.
- Siblings in elementary school would go to school in the same building. They would not be split after 2nd grade.
- Students would have the benefit of having teachers from kindergarten through 5th grade in the same building, which should strengthen relationships between students and teachers.
- The teaching teams at Lapham and Marquette would be combined for the K-5 school, so strong teaching teams would not be split up.
- The combined K-5 school would have approximately 450 students, which is the size of six other MMSD elementary schools, and significantly smaller than two other MMSD elementary schools.
- The K-5 school would have full-time, or close to full-time, art, music and physical education teachers.
- All students would attend school close to their homes. Lapham and Marquette are only 1.06 miles away from each other.
- District schools would continue to exist and be operated in both the Lapham and Marquette neighborhoods.
- If the District’s growth projections for the area are too low, there is still plenty of space at neighboring Lowell and Emerson schools for students.
- Last but not least, combining the paired schools would save money, and would free up space to house programs currently located in rented space.
In my view, of almost all the budget items the School Board is looking at, this item has the fewest negative impacts on students. It will be a shame if the Board’s concerns about political pressure trump its concerns about what is best for students.