Grade-level grouping causes concerns

After reading about how the Greater Johnstown School District has decided to group grades in their elementary schools, I became extremely concerned for the safety of the schoolchildren.

I drive my grandchildren to school because I worry about them walking such a long distance, alone. They are ages 8 and 5. I see children all along the way, my grandkids’ friends, out in the cold, in small groups of two to five children.

Now, is the GJSD expecting these same children to be split up so younger ones are walking one direction, the older children another? Are the parents going to be forced to drive to two to three schools at the same drop-off or pickup time, hurrying, while trying to watch out for these same walking children? Is the GJSD going to bus, at additional cost, children who are now going to be living a mile away from school?

I believe grade grouping is going to wash out any family participation in school activities. How can a parent be involved in more than one PTA, or go to family school days at multiple schools, and be expected to somehow miss that many days of work? How can an older child help introduce his sister or brother to a place that he or she has accepted as another safe home, with people they know, if he or she gets moved every two years?



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