Although I see why current Leopold parents expect great positives from the new building, I believe that these are short-term gains for the school and community and that the negatives of creating an extremely large elementary school may outweigh the short-term advantages.
I am particularly concerned that the short-term relief for overcrowding would be undermined when the building reaches full capacity and houses two schools, each of which is far bigger than any K-2 or 3-5 school today.
Teens also admitted to using the internet as a venue for sexual experience, and for many it was their first.
It is my responsibility to ask whether we have the experience to make such a joint school work and what additional resources would be required to assure student success under such conditions.
In the short term, the proposal meets some, but not all, of the needs of Leopold's current students.
Of that time, it was observed that 1 sexual comment was made every 4 minutes (Subrahmanyam, Smahel and Greenfield, 2006).
Think in terms of how much time teens are spending online, and how it weighs out with the sexual comments being made that often!
The 3/2/05 Cap Times includes an excellent op ed piece by Ruth Robarts detailing her concerns about creating a large K-5 elementary school.
ntid=30501 Ruth Robarts: Better to rethink new school now than regret decision later By Ruth Robarts March 2, 2005 On March 28, the Madison School Board will cast the final vote on the proposed referendum for .5 million to build a second school on the Leopold Elementary School site.With the use of chat rooms and instant messaging, teens can communicate anonymously with other teens.The use of instant messaging is primarily to communicate with friends one-on-one or for gossiping.Students would have separate entrances, but share buses to and from school.My duty as a board member is to weigh the pros and cons of this recommendation from the administration.In the long term, it is difficult to imagine ways in which a very large paired school offers new educational benefits to our children, but easy to list the problems that likely would arise from turning away from our goal of keeping schools small.