Letter: Asks voters to approve bond issue for Woodridge Local Schools

As was published in Cuyahoga Falls News Press, May 31, 2015:

Teaching for a variety of schools throughout the last 10 years taught me that it is an honor and privilege to work with the Woodridge community and its remarkable students.

Woodridge is exceptional in many ways. However, there is currently a great need for improvements in the area of adequate facilities for our students. As a high school teacher without a classroom, I see firsthand how vital it is that we improve our facilities. Woodridge High School is designed for 500 students, but has a population of nearly 700, which results in seven different teachers and groups of students being forced to engage in education in “borrowed” classrooms. Teachers who travel must navigate through hallways between classes, hopefully arriving in time to welcome students, log onto the computer, open any necessary applications, and prepare students for learning before too much time is wasted.

As time-consuming and exasperating as it is to prepare and deliver instruction in six different classrooms a day, the most frustrating part is facing the reality that the students are losing the most. Each classroom is designed by a specific teacher for specific purposes. The various classroom designs, combined with traveling between classes, makes implementing engaging, project-based hands-on learning a challenge so great it is usually unreasonable or impossible. Further, the instructional resources for traveling teachers are reduced to what six different teachers have available in their classroom and what we can transport through the hallways in four minutes. Maximizing student achievement requires adequate educational environments and resources. This November, we have an opportunity to bring our facilities up to the high Woodridge standard. It is imperative that the Woodridge community passes the bond issue on the November ballot so that we can provide our outstanding students with the educational environments they deserve.

Beau Schluep, Cuyahoga Falls