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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Schools in disarray

My name is Christi Thomas, and I currently teach a 4/5 combination at Riverside Elementary school in San Pablo. We were just told today that we are short 40 students in our enrollment and therefore we will be losing two more teachers at our school. For those of you who are not familiar with the school, we have already lost one upper grade position this year. Our upper grades currently consist of the following: a 3/4 split, a 4/5 split, a 5/6 split and one straight 6. If we cut the two lowest seniority teachers (myself and another), then we are cutting the 4/5 teacher and the 5/6 teacher! This alone would be terrible. The kids are going through enough right now with larger classes and all of the construction (they have to eat lunch in the classroom, the grass field is off limits, and all of the tetherball poles, basketball hoops, and volleyball poles have been sawed off). I also do not know how they will have their new literacy program work if they continue to cut teachers.

The two teachers they will be cutting are the only upper grade teachers at our school that have been trained in the Open Court language program. Riverside has already cut one of our Intervention/High Point classes, if they cut another teacher or two, they are setting our children up to fail.

I hope that some parents/community members are able to help us out with this current problem.

Thank you for your continued support!

Christi Thomas

Run dates: 2003-09-04 - 2003-09-18

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