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February 10, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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Washington state public schools discussed

Smaller classroom size is a necessary change

In all the many words regarding schools in Mondays paper [“ ‘Battle royale’ on schools expected,” NWMonday, Feb. 4] and again today [“Seattle schools: Why so costly?,” page one, Feb. 8], the one factor crucial for a better outcome for all public school children, reducing class size, is never mentioned, yet it is the major reason private schools outperform public every time.

Teaching is about relationships. Where there are close relationships between students and teachers, education thrives. The more kids there are in class, the less each one can be inspired by the teacher.

--Joan W. Davis, Bellevue

Overcapacity creates an unsafe learning environment

I am dismayed at Brian Rosenthal’s article in Friday’s paper. Rosenthal doesn’t discuss the savings in operating costs by having slightly larger buildings and only alludes to the fact that Seattle might be reporting all the soft costs, unlike other districts, and never references the cost of not building new schools in our communities.

In my two-and-a-half-year journey as the Schmitz Park PTA President, Schmitz Park Capacity co-chair and district facilities advisory committee member, I have spent countless hours learning about capacity and facilities, and I absolutely know that if we don’t pass the levy to build these new buildings and retrofit others, our students and their teachers will suffer in increasingly unsafe learning environments.

The fact is that more than half of the Schmitz Park students will be in portables next year and many of the schools in West Seattle have excessive portables. Portables are difficult to secure in emergencies, not to mention the stress on core facilities and the isolation of students and teachers. Seattle voters are worried about large schools. My child attends one of the largest elementary schools in Seattle. Schmitz Park will tip 600 students next year, it just happens that we are in a building meant for 325.

--Fiona Preedy, Seattle

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Joan; Students are inspired by their parents who are absent in the educational formula.... MORE
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