In all the ruckus about the proposed changes to the Kepner boundary, we might forget that the catalyst is the co-location of either MSLA or the approved (but yet nonexistant) KIPP elementary school. The Spanish-speaking parents of MSLA came to offer public comment this week, and the following is a letter they gave us and translated for our benefit.
Denver, Colorado, on November 7, 2011
Mr. Superintendent and Board
Subject: Moving MSLA to Kepner
Through this letter, we are writing to you with great respect, to express the following:
We parents decided to enroll our children in MSLA because we believe it is an excellent school. It has a quality educational program. The subjects they teach are clear, enjoyable, education and according to the ages of our children. The groups are small, teachers and staff are cordial and respectful professionals with parents and students who attend this school, and most importantly at all times encourage them to study to become professionals and about the importance of graduation. MSLA has an excellent rating for its academic success and meets our expectations.
At this time we are very worried because we have been informed that our school will be transferred to Kepner. We do not agree. We are very concerned about this movement that you want to do.
We would not like to keep sharing a school with students older than our children. Each student should have his/her own space in accordance to his/her age and needs.
Some parents have kids, or we know some young neighbors, in Kepner, and they too deserve their own space, with the right number of students for better control and a school with sufficient resources to offer a quality education. It is not fair for the Kepner students to have to share their school with younger students.
Sometimes there are older students in our playground area, using bad words or kissing each other. These behaviors affect our children, because they don’t feel calm around what they’re hearing or seeing. Also, they skateboard in the front entrance and without care, either they or the small children could suffer an accident. The office no longer is the same as in previous years, very well organized. Now the two schools share the same office. There is a lot of noise because of the amount of people that are in this space talking at the same time, being parents, students, teachers or administrative staff. For the people that work in the office it must be very difficult to carry out their tasks in so much noise.
Many parents have expressed that if they are moved to Kepner, they will remove their children from MSLA, because they don’t believe that Kepner or the route to it are safe. There is a lot of vandalism and fear for the safety of their children. Many parents who live in that area bring their children to MSLA because it is the only one that is safe and that has good academic standing than all the other schools around us.
With this concern, we turn to you for the opportunity to have our own building, to continue with our educational expectations. We are a school that began working as a team, with teachers and parents. We started with 125 students and today we have 250 students. We have a great team of teachers with good academic standing. You understand this. We just received our first award of many to come.
Besides having an excellent academic level, we are training our children with the foundation, values and principles that lead them to become better citizens in the future, a future that will be reflected based on the choices we make today.
We would like to have a building for our school, so we can continue to grow along with our children. It would be great to have more grades. We believe that small children who receive a good education from the beginning of their formation become good professionals. Why not give our children the opportunity to meet those goals? To achieve this goal, we need quality schools like MSLA, which are not charter schools, but they are schools with high academic performance.
We do not want to share a building with another school. It is right that our children be educated in an agreeable and safe place.
With must respect, Mr. Superintendent and members of the board, do you think that because our children are “Latino” that they are not entitled to receive a good education, a better environment, a separate building and quality? Our children are human beings with rights. They are not dominos with which you can play. They have feelings and needs. Therefore I ask for your support, to meet these needs.
If you choose to transfer MSLA to Kepner, it would be good if the change would be to our own building instead. There are places that stand alone that can be adapted to our needs; for example, the Lowes building that is now closing. It’s a new building, it has air conditioning, which is a very important condition for our small children. As you know, in summer there is a lot of heat and this affects the health of our children. This is a proposal. Please take it into account.
If there will be no transferrance to a better situation for MSLA, we don’t want to move.
If your children were in the place of ours, what would you do for them?
Based on the above, we ask for your support and especially for your confidence to achieve our goals and to go on climbing until we reach the top.
We extend our most sincere thanks for receiving our request, and we look forward to working together for a better near future in favor of childhood.
Parents of MSLA