Dear Editor,

As parents of two West Carroll students we are concerned with the current facility discussion. We humbly encourage all West Carroll parents to resist making assumptions.

Whether you are in favor of closing WCHS, opposed or undecided, we urge you to ask questions about how the possible closure will affect your child’s school experience. What will be the positive and negative impacts to your child’s school schedule, classroom and hallway experience, lunch schedule, bus schedule, extracurricular schedule, etc.?

The WCEA (teachers) made a public statement against closing WCHS based on information available at this time. Their statement weighs heavily on us as parents. Educators are uniquely positioned to determine the negative consequences for students and staff outweigh the benefits of closing WCHS.

Percentages and figures can be manipulated to fit a particular narrative. To a certain extent this is happening on both sides of the facility issue. Our children are more than stark numbers on a piece of paper. For example, there were many more students housed in our attendance centers at the time of consolidation than are currently accommodated. On the surface this is a seemingly indisputable fact that would favor closing an attendance center, but we feel it does not tell the whole story.

The space needed to handle the emotional, educational, and behavioral needs of our current student body should be a major consideration in this decision. We argue the space, time, and effort required by our educators to meet the needs of our students today has grossly increased over what was required just a few years ago, let alone 10-15 years ago. This affects all students and staff in the building. Like many other parents, we see this firsthand.

This immensely important nuance is not reflected in mere numbers on a page or state government and contractual minimums and maximums. West Carroll has much to be proud of, but we must not overlook our challenges.

Fiscal responsibility is important, but we hope the West Carroll Board of Education is balanced, meaning we hope there are strong ‘student first’ board members to balance the strong ‘money first’ board members. Otherwise, in our opinion, the board tilts too far from center which can have long-lasting negative consequences for our children and communities.

Megan and Jeremy Nolte