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Op-Ed: 'If you Close James Marshall we will Homeschool our Children'

A letter from a Rosemont parent regarding the potential closure of James W. Marshall Elementary School.

By Tiffany Vaillancourt
Special to Rosemont Patch 

I just got word of some very disturbing news regarding my children's school. I’ve been informed that the school that my son and daughter currently attend, James Marshall Elementary, has been put on a list of schools slated to be closed next year. I am both shocked and outraged over this decision. I along with quite a number of other California voters went to the polls in November to support and approve Prop 30 in order to prevent school closures and teacher layoffs. The whole point of this tax increase was to keep schools open and keep teachers in the classroom. I’m left feeling as though someone has pulled a fast one on me and I’m sure my fellow voters will feel the same way. 

We were excited to move to our home and the Rosemont area because we found out our children would be attending James Marshall who has been an excellent school. The staff, teachers and principal make this a school that the kids want to be at. They helped us get our son who is special needs enrolled very easily, his teacher has been more than anything we could ever dream of and his biggest cheerleader. Now to have to explain to him that not only do we not know where you plan to send him but to also lose his safety net at the school is just unthinkable.

I could never express to the school staff and teachers how much easier they made the transition for a very scared 5-year-old old with autism. His teacher made him feel welcomed and for the first time in almost six months I was able to leave him in his class without having to stay the whole day. That is how much progress they made with him in one day and now three and a half years later he is thriving and looking to mainstreamed for half the day in a regular classroom.

To me I don't think we would have gotten as far as we had at any other school. My husband and I refuse to send either of our children to A.M. Winn- after reading the reviews and talking to other parents we found the school to be both educationally substandard and filthy. We specifically chose James Marshall for our kids. I am appalled that such a poor quality, under-achieving school such as A.M. Winn, but no efforts are being considered to spare James Marshall – a much higher quality school.

It is my top priority that both my children receive a quality education and that my autistic son receive everything he needs, and on that I will make absolutely no compromise whatsoever. If you close James Marshall we will homeschool our children. James Marshall is a quality school with quality teachers and if you really cared about the education of the children, instead of closing James Marshall because it is not operating at capacity, you would focus more of your efforts towards closing the low-quality schools in the surrounding area and send them to James Marshall to bring it to capacity. I want you to know that I will not go quietly on this. You can expect to see and hear more from me. I will be at the meeting [Thursday] night and I will be very vocal.

I’m going to make every effort to use the media. I’m going to rile up the masses and stir up as many bee hives as I need to. I am going to fight this to the very end. I am going to call whoever I need to call and write whoever I have to write as often as necessary. It makes absolutely no sense to be closing good schools while keeping bad schools open – NONE! I’m going to be a thorn in your side, because this is a bad decision and you need to reconsider it.

Yours sincerely, 
Tiffany Vaillancourt
Mother to Adam and Megan

Doug Reid January 22, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Hi MMuller. My name is Doug Reid. I am the executive pastor at Capital Christian Center. I wanted to let all the parents of James Marshall know that we have made no inquiries nor expressed any interest in purchasing the James Marshall property. We would be very interested in hearing where the numerous reports have come from. They certainly have not come from Capital Christian Center. We found out about the school closings the same way everyone else did. We were saddened as well because of our interest and support in our public schools.
MMuller January 24, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Mr. Grams, If in fact this is the case, then I invite both you and Mr. Reid (as well as as many other representatives from Capital Christian as can attend) to attend the community outreach meeting at James Marshall Elementary on February 15th from 6PM to 9PM to advocate for James Marshall on behalf of Capital Christian Center. You can also attend the SCUSD Board of Education meeting on Feb. 21st.
MMuller January 25, 2013 at 05:34 PM
News and Review Story http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/downsizing-the-district/content?oid=8878892
MMuller January 31, 2013 at 05:38 PM
There is a meeting tonight for all those affected by the closures for all 11 schools. Community Forum: School Closures Samuel Pannell Community Center 2450 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 6:30PM Too Many Questions! Too Little Time! Join parents, students and community stakeholders to discuss the proposed closure of eleven schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD). With only a few weeks left before the School Board makes their decision, NOW IS THE TIME for Sacramento to come together and develop a unified message to ensure that parents, students and teachers have a say in the future of our youth's education!
MMuller February 08, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Mr. Reid and Mr Grams; While you claim Captial Christian has no interest in "purchasing" the James Marshall property I now ask you if Capital Christian has ever expressed any interest in "leasing" this property? Also, I would just like to add how disappointed I was that no representative came to the community outreach meeting on Tuesday to speak out in support of James Marshall. Apparently your best wishes for the James Marshall students and families and your interest and support in our public schools don't go any furher than empty words.

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