ILLOGIC AND SLEIGHT OF HAND – WATCH OUT
Is Suncrest Middle School truly overcrowded, or is this a ploy by the BOE to move out the middle school and move in Suncrest Primary?
Where would Suncrest Middle School be moved to? To the Mountaineer Middle School campus? Thus bringing down the number of middle schools in the Morgantown area from 4 to 3 even as enrollment holds steady or climbs?
The Dominion Post reports today that the Suncrest 6th grade is 2 students away from being over capacity, but it also reports that 25 of those 6 graders don’t even live in the Suncrest Middle School catchment and instead have been allowed to transfer into the school, rather than attend South Middle School or Mountaineer Middle School or Westwood Middle School, the schools of their actual catchment. Why were these 6th graders, fresh out of their elementary schools, allowed to transfer into a middle school that is then said to be overcrowded?
That’s not an overcrowding problem. That’s a transfer problem.
And that’s just 6th grade, where nearly one-sixth of the grade, an entire class, consists of out-of-catchment transfers. How many Suncrest students in grades 7 and 8 are also transfers into the “overcrowded” school?
It is dishonest to say that a grade, or a school, bloated by transfers is overcrowded. The superintendent has the responsibility for allowing or disallowing student transfers. Given the Dominion Post report – which is all the public has to go on since the BOE continues to refuse to make its meetings available online or on TV – there is no short-term overcrowding problem. There is instead a superintendent problem. The superintendent is approving transfers that he should not.
Just as Mon Schools would have far better served the students by building a third high school, instead of relocating UHS to a giant campus in the country, Mon Schools would do well to build a fifth middle school. Shrinking instead from 4 to 3 middle schools is not a quality option. Nor is moving a middle school out of Suncrest. What are the Superintendent’s intentions? His analysis of Suncrest makes no sense. The reality is different, and the public is once again shut out.
Watch out, Suncrest. Watch out, City and County. When the Superintendent claims that his poor transfer decisions are instead an overcrowding problem, one can see that the hidden reality of what is going on in Mon Schools is quite different from what is proclaimed on the surface.