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Parents Don't Think Their Voices Are Being Heard

November 26, 2012, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Parents Don't Think Their Voices Are Being Heard
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

While the school district says it could save money, many parents would rather save the neighborhood schools. But right now they're not too optimistic that'll happen.

This is the first year Adam Corria's daughter, Rogue, who's in kindergarten, has attended Longfellow Elementary.  The idea of closing her school isn't sitting well with him.

"It upsets me; it makes me angry," Corria said.

Corria lives two blocks away and likes the convenience.

"When it's warm, my wife walks her to school or I walk her if I'm not working.  Now it's probably going to be another hassle just for them to make it easier for them," Corria said.

Many parents like the size and location of the schools their children now attend, calling it a huge benefit for them and their children's education.

"There's not going to be as much one-on-one time; she's got 22 kids in her class and her teacher spends at least 10 minutes each day with each student," Amber Martin said.

"I don't think it's a good idea.  Right now, she's got maybe 18 kids in her class and if they get a lot bigger than that, how are you going to teach them?" Lee Friesen said.

Several parents have signed on to an online petition drive urging school board members to vote against consolidating Mark Twain, Jefferson and Longfellow Elementary Schools.  So far 328 parents have signed it.  But they know that might not be enough to convince the school district to keep the schools open.

"I think it's wrong and need to leave the schools the way they are, but unfortunately, I think they are going to do whatever they please," Corria said.

"It will be a hard transition if she has to transfer into a different school," Martin said. "She had a hard enough time transferring into school in general; now having to move is going to be hard if that's the decision that's made tonight."

One of the parents we talked with says if the school district votes to close the schools, she'll open enroll her child to Lowell so she doesn't have to go to the new Mark Twain site.

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