Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
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Sunday, March 17, 2013
Questions on school sale
I see now the Old Prices Fork Elementary School is officially for sale. I have two questions:
1. Once the property is sold, will the taxpayers, aka bill payers, see any reduction in their property tax rates? We just had rates raised last year partly to pay for the $50 million Blacksburg High School and partly to cover irresponsible spending from our leaders.
2. Why does the county need to see developers’ plans for the use of the land? That means they get to pick who buys the land, not necessarily the highest bidder.
Teacher dismayed by changes
This is my 19th year teaching sixth grade at Blacksburg Middle School. I have always loved my job.
Sixth-graders are interesting, engaging, funny and unique. I love getting to know my students, discovering their learning styles, knowing their families and helping children overcome obstacles (academic and personal) throughout the school year. Having strong relationships with my students is an honor.
I am very concerned about the Montgomery County School Board’s decision to disassemble the middle school model. Increasing teaching loads from 100 students up to 150 and reducing planning periods will seriously damage teacher-student interaction time. Now I truly know each of my students and can cater learning experiences to the individual. I am also distressed at the proposed loss of planning time to meet with parents, learning specialists and technology specialists, and to problem-solve with other team members.
I teach because I love to teach. Montgomery County has deeply dedicated teachers. I’m proud to be among them. Regardless of the obstacles, my colleagues and I will continue to work tirelessly to help our students be successful. Yet it is heartbreaking to watch our school board dismantle a system that has worked so well.
Sixth Grade Teacher
Blacksburg Middle School
Small groups best for middle schools
The move from elementary to middle school is often scary. In Blacksburg, it means moving from one of five small elementary schools to one larger middle school. When I was a teacher at Blacksburg Middle School, I felt confident reassuring parents that the small, community feel of their beloved elementary experience would continue because of middle school teaming.
Teaming ensures sixth-graders a gradual transition from the elementary single-classroom setting to the multiple-classrooms-per-day middle school setting. Students build confidence through membership on teams where teachers and classmates truly get to know each other, making bullying and alienation less likely. Teaming allows common planning time for teachers, parents and students to address challenges together.
The new “flexible scheduling model” approved by the school board means a decrease in collaborative planning time, greatly reducing the possibility for a timely meeting with your child’s teacher.
Teaming is supported by the Association for Middle Level Education’s recommendations and guided the design of the middle school building on Prices Fork Road.
Blacksburg Middle School is special because of its professional, caring, collaborative faculty. When these devoted professionals are deprived of the opportunity to work with small groups, the rich, family-like learning environment at BMS is jeopardized.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us