Letter: School addition is an investment

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, March 27, 2019

During the past several weeks, I have spent time learning more about the school district’s plan for a building levy to support early childhood education. Last year, I was part of the community committee researching facility solutions to the school district’s continued growing enrollment which also looked at ways to address early childhood facility expansion. What I have learned is that the need is real and it is time to make this investment into our schools. I plan to vote YES on April 9.

One of the most important issues for me is creating high quality opportunities for ALL of our youngest learners. It is important that we provide the strongest educational foundation for our young children. Early intervention, beginning at birth, is the key to providing for kindergarten-ready children. We know that early childhood education results in lifelong benefits and educational benefits like increased graduation rates. If we don’t build more space for our youngest children, the district will continue to have less space than needed to serve the community’s growing early childhood population. This leaves many students and families on waiting lists for both public and private early childhood programs in our community.

I have had the good fortune to work in both the public and private school systems in Austin. I have seen the excellent work provided by both and the strong partnerships developed between the two to support all learners and families in the Austin community. For example, Pacelli partners with the public school district to provide support for children with special needs, beginning in our Pacelli early childhood programs. Because of this partnership, most families who have chosen Pacelli as a faith-based educational option for their children are able to remain at Pacelli, even if their child is challenged with a special need. This investment will benefit ALL young students and families regardless of school choices made for their futures. Please join me in voting YES on April 9!

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Jean McDermott

Pacelli Catholic School PK-12 Principal

Retired IJ Holton/Woodson Kindergarten Center/Neveln/Ellis Principal

Austin, MN