FAIRFIELD — About 284 sixth-graders from schools including Nelda Mundy Elementary would move to Green Valley Middle School in the 2015-16 school year if Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees approve the proposed change Thursday – a proposal that has spurred a parent’s online petition opposing the student transfer.
Annette Thurman said keeping Nelda Mundy a K-6 school rather than sending sixth-graders to Green Valley avoids moving children into the adolescent world of middle schools.
“We talk about kids growing up early,” Thurman said. “A lot of that happens because we put them in environments where they have to grow up.”
Moreover, student grades and test scores decline in middle school, said Thurman, whose petition at www.change.org listed 268 signers Monday night.
Parents want to keep children at Nelda Mundy, she said, and their opposition involves no concerns about Green Valley.
“Green Valley Middle School is one of the best middle schools you can go to in the county,” Thurman said.
Fairfield-Suisun Superintendent Kris Corey said the recommendation to convert Oakbrook Elementary to a K-8 elementary and change Cordelia Hills and Nelda Mundy into K-5 schools comes to trustees after a great deal of consideration. The initial discussion on this change started more than four years ago, Corey said in an email.
Trustees then approved a transition of all middle schools to grades 6-8 and all elementary schools to become K-5 schools. Trustees, she said, conducted a two-hour study session two months ago on school district facilities.
Representatives of various departments in the school district will speak Thursday about why the recommendation was made, Corey said.
“Everything from traffic to educational performance was considered in our recommendation,” the superintendent said. “We also reviewed various school districts throughout the county and neighboring counties to see what configurations exist. Ours is the only district with both K-5 and K-6 schools.”
The majority of the middle school students in Fairfield-Suisun attend middle schools for sixth through eighth grades, Corey said, and B. Gale Wilson is phasing to become a grades 6-8 middle school.
“With every decision, there are pros and cons,” she said. “We are recommending this configuration to our governing board because we believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.”
Advantages include mirroring how Common Core State Standards are organized as well as better balancing populations of elementary and middle schools, the superintendent said.
Proposed transfers to Green Valley include 131 students from Nelda Mundy and 109 students from Cordeila Hills.
Trustees meet at 6 p.m. in Board Room No. 108 at the school district offices, 2490 Hilborn Road in Fairfield.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]
Note: This story has been updated to reflect that 284 students from schools including Nelda Mundy Elementary may move to Green Valley Middle School.