Support Cape school referendum April 2
Parents, future parents and grandparents of students in the Cape Henlopen School District, as well as all of the members of our community, should support the referendum that will be voted on Wednesday, April 2.
I was raised in Milton, attended Cape Henlopen public schools and graduated from Cape in 1995. My sisters, parents, grandparents and I attended class in many of the same buildings that are still in use today in both Milton and Lewes.
I have personally toured the three elementary schools located in Milton and Lewes this past week and my daughter attends Rehoboth Elementary. I have seen the capacity issues in each one. Our school district has grown by more than 850 students since 2002. Studies have predicted that we will add nearly 950 more students in the next 20 years.
Where will these students fit in our current schools? The district has been imaginative in finding classrooms, resource teacher rooms and special education rooms by transforming closets and locker rooms into useable spaces. There are classrooms divided by bookshelves or partitions to create more separate classes. There are 22 modular classrooms (trailers) throughout the district that are being used daily for our kids. At the elementary level, these trailers don’t always have bathrooms, so teachers and aides have to escort a child into the main building to a bathroom. This alone takes away from instruction time and creates a safety issue.
If a school has to go into lockdown, the children in these trailers will most likely not be able to enter the main buildings. They are at the mercy of a temporary structure that was built to last five years. Is that enough for our kids?
The average age of our elementary schools is 62 years old. The schools have had classrooms added on over the years, but at some point, you can’t continue to improve the conditions. Most areas in these schools do not even have sprinkler systems.
By building the new school on Route 24, the elementary school trailers can be removed and the kids can get back in classrooms. Each of the schools will have some breathing room for the continued growth. The teacher-to-student-ratios in the classes can remain at a manageable level.
The additional classrooms for the middle schools are also necessary as our community grows. Fortunately, these buildings were designed for these spaces to be easily added on when needed. The proposed Sussex Consortium classrooms are completely paid for the state.
Milford School District’s referendums did not pass this past week. The building referendum was voted down by only 178 votes! It is important that every district resident is informed about why we need the Cape referendum to pass. Visit the district website, www.capehenlopenschools.com, for more information. Senior citizens can find out about the Property Tax Relief for Seniors.
There are three polling locations for all district residents - you do not have to be a property owner to vote: Cape Henlopen High School, Mariner Middle School and Rehoboth Elementary. Polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Make your vote count!
Jennifer Smith McKean
Chris and Lori Schell
Julie A. Yakimowicz
Dave and Barbara Kergaard
James and Eileen Baker
Donna Yakimowicz Smith
Karen and Jim Falk
Mike and Jill DiPaolo
Chase and Kelly Brockstedt
Sarah and David Mushrush, Cape teachers
Larry and Michele Smith
Nancy Beth Massaro
Dr. Fadi Damouni, M.Ed.
Tom and Alyssa Burn
James and Deanna Gamuciello
Jonathan and Jess Johnson
Susan C. Lehman
Sarah and Derek Feist
Brittany and Kevin Danahy
Eugenia and David Hart
Carlos and Amy Casas
Stephanie Sarley Mastrangelo
Alison Lerner Myers
Marcy K. DeEmedio