I was alarmed to read that Superintendent Copps presented the School Board with a letter of interest from the Hilands Golf Club to purchase Highland School. The article stated that "the school is one of the buildings in Billings School District 2 that is not overcrowded and provides space for all of the kindergarten students in its area."
This statement is simply not true. The school is currently overcrowded and this is after sending all of the out of boundary children back to their home schools. Currently, both kindergarten and both second grade classes exceed Montana accreditation standards.
I am further alarmed that the school district might consider selling a heavily utilized neighborhood school and an important asset without a long-range plan in place to guide the board and the community with this type of decision-making. This plan should be based on public input and priorities, weigh alternatives and discuss implications. Currently there is nothing like this in place.
The board has made a decision to move forward with the planning process to renovate McKinley and Broadwater elementary schools. These beautiful schools deserve to be renovated for so many different reasons.
However, the board should develop a long-range plan and a vision for all the elementary schools through and open and participatory process. This kind of process is critical to bringing our community on board and securing support for future investments that are so critically needed.
Amy Drought Griffin