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8th/9th grade building a brilliant proposal

Last Thursday, I was pleased to meet two Cedar Springs school board trustees at a Kent County board event. Lowell had recently passed a bond issue, and I was interested to hear about your upcoming vote and the district’s plans for the funds. As with Lowell, Cedar will use the money for the unglamorous but necessary expenditures that update facilities and provide the infrastructure every district needs to serve its community most effectively.

What struck me as the most brilliant proposal for the funds is the creation of an 8th/9th grade building. I taught at Lowell High School for twenty-nine years—mostly before our 9th grade wing was built—and have always felt that freshmen and seniors should not be under the same roof. The groups are vastly different in both physical and emotional maturity, and since most middle schools have no retention policy, freshmen have spent the previous three years facing no consequences for lack of academic effort. Many struggle in the strict high school academic environment, and often discipline problems arise from those struggles.

By putting the 8th and 9th grades together, I see Cedar Springs addressing two issues: First, the freshman/senior gap and, second, a similar gap between 6th and 8th graders. Having students just a year or two apart in age in their own space eliminates a number of problems inherent in a wider age spread. 

As a Lowell Board of Education trustee, I have seen firsthand the positive effect passing both a sinking and a bond issue has had. Schools are an integral part of small towns such as Lowell and Cedar. Bond money stays in the community; it shows that citizens value their public schools; and best of all it is used to invest in our most precious commodity—our children.

Trust that the Cedar Springs Board of Education has performed their due diligence in shaping the plan for this bond issue, and please support public schools on November 5.

Laurie C. Kuna

Trustee, Lowell Board of Education 

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One Response to “8th/9th grade building a brilliant proposal”

  1. Jack J Clement says:

    Brilliant? more like laughable. I am glad the bond failed but am taken aback by how many people voted yes! To have your questions answered on why I think this contact me at timclem1918@gmail.com

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