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Measure C is terrible for our kids

As a mom of kids who will attend Sierra Sands schools for the next fifteen years, I’m asking you to vote NO on Measure C on June 7th. There are a lot of reasons to vote no on this, but for me there’s only one reason that matters – because this measure is terrible for my kids. For all our kids.

Measure C proposes to create a “6th-grade-only” school, doubling our kids’ middle school transitions. But this district already fails our kids when they transition to middle school just once! During the four years before Covid, on average 1 out of 5 Sierra Sands fifth graders fell off track when they transitioned to middle school here. That’s on top of the half of our fifth graders who already weren’t meeting standards. Transitions are also linked to more behavior issues, something the district is terrible at addressing, with the second highest middle school suspension rate in the entire county the year before Covid – two and a half times the county average. So why does the district want to double down on this failure at the expense of our kids?

Research on this model unanimously shows that it harms kids. One study of over 25,000 students in Iowa showed this one had the worst student outcomes. Students in 6th-only schools still hadn’t caught up academically by the time they went to high school. And the only other research concluded that the negative effects might be “persistent”… Meaning our kids might never catch up from how far behind this puts them. There are only a handful of schools across the entire country that even attempt a 6th-only school, but they all have much smaller classes than our district wants to pay for. To meet just the average staffing level of other 6th-only schools, Sierra Sands would need to have 27 teachers, but they are only planning 15. Why does Sierra Sands want to set our students, as well as our teachers, up to fail using a model with no positive research behind it, without even staffing it appropriately?

Parents and teachers rejected this plan four years ago when it was free… It was a bad idea then, and it’s a bad idea now when it will cost us over $100Million in new taxes. This isn’t about buildings, and it’s not even about tax dollars. This is about putting our children first and doing what’s best for them. As a mother, as well as a taxpayer, I’m asking you to reject this measure and protect our children by voting NO on Measure C on June 7th.

Jennifer Slayton