Let’s do the new Urbana schools right


I would like to bring an issue regarding the new Urbana school buildings to the attention of the taxpayers who are paying for it.

I believe there needs to be transparency and clear communication between the superintendent, Charles Thiel, and the community regarding the site plans. It is my understanding that the new schools will not be truly efficient in the needs of our teachers and children. Three-fourths of the junior high school and high school teachers will not have their own classrooms so already they will be spending a lot of our money with plans that do not create enough space. Are these floating teachers supposed to cart around their supplies every day because of this inadequacy?

The elementary teachers have been told they will have their rooms for 75 percent of the school day and the rooms will be smaller with the possibility of more students per classroom.

These new schools are supposed to make things more efficient and educationally productive, but the plans do not project such an outcome.

I have learned that there will not even be a dedicated library available to the elementary and junior high students. I cannot overstate the importance of having a library available to our children to help expand their imaginations and create lifelong readers which greatly increases their chances of academic success.

A library does so much to open up the world of possibilities to a child especially for those who do not have access to books and technology in their own homes. I believe Dr. Ben Carson is an excellent example of how important books really are. If you have not yet read “The Gifted Hands” about Dr. Carson’s life, I suggest you check it out at your local library. It is truly inspirational on how a young child in a very challenging situation was able to turn his life around and become the most highly regarded neurosurgeon of our time all because of books.

I believe we absolutely do need a dedicated library with a librarian for our children and grandchildren and make it inviting and exciting so each child in our community has the same chance at becoming all they can be as any other child. Just having a small amount of books in the classroom is not enough and not exciting to a child at all. Remember when we were kids and had our library day in school. It was fun to be able to look around at all the different books and find just that right one to read for the week. We checked them out which taught us responsibility as we needed to return them in a timely manner. Most importantly, we were able to take those books home to read to our parents or grandparents which helped us become better readers and form closer bonds with our families.

As we move forward to construct new schools for our community, let’s be sure we do it right.

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” ― Hunter S. Thompson

If you feel the same way I do, please feel free to contact or write the superintendent of the Urbana City Schools, Charles Thiel at 937-653-1402 charles.thiel@urbanacityschools.org.

School board members:

Alyssa Dunham Alyssa.Dunham@urbanacityschools.org

Tim Lacy Tim.Lacy@urbanacityschools.org

Warren Stevens Warren.Stevens@urbanacityschools.org

Jack Beard Jack.Beard@urbanacityschools.org

Jan Engle Jan.Engle@urbanacityschools.org

Linda Biddle

Urbana

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