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Letter to the Editor: Need To Help Students Now

To the Editor:

I fully back the decision for the takeover of Jefferson Houston Elementary School. This used to be a wonderful school with good teachers and good leaders, not to say the teachers and leaders today are not good, but there has been such a turnover in the last few years.

There are a lot of people that are opposed to the upcoming legislation, they also oppose the current school building. There have been way too many changes at this school without the increase of academic achievement. There were several years when the school went through six principals, then we got a good one and the school showed promise. But the superintendent did not think there was quick enough turn around, so he moved her.

Since then we have had a CEO that showed hope, he stayed for about four months. The teachers and administrators continuously come and go. During this school year alone, my grandson in the third grade has now had three different reading teachers and he is now below grade level. When he first came to JH into kindergarten he was above grade level, then he started sliding due to the teacher not being in the class a lot of the school year, next he had the same teacher for 1st and 2nd grades with his reading teacher being his kindergarten teacher. This did not boost him, if anything, it held him back.

Granted boys are different learners than girls, but the teachers have got to grasp this, gain the focus and attention of the children, understand they have different learning needs and teach them in a way that will make them want to learn.

I have been so disappointed in this school in the last couple of years, I welcome outside intervention. My other grandson will be in kindergarten in the fall, he is currently receiving pre-k at the same day care provider his brother was at, so I expect him to come to JH with an above average level. I don't want to see the same thing happen to him. All of the JH children deserve the best education they can get; these kids are our future.

There are currently 334 students at JH, the building was built to accommodate 800 students. Years ago it was at that capacity. Instead of spending the $44 million on a new building at this site, get the students achieving first, maybe move them to other achieving schools, reintegrate them with students who are achieving. Give them the same chance the other students have.

Bea Porter