Letter: Hollie Fischer-McTiernan, Lucketts

Editor:  To claim that universal full-day kindergarten is “within striking distance” is a perfect case of putting the cart before the horse. The Loudoun County School Board will not be able to achieve this goal until all schools in the district have enough space for the students it serves, now. Where is this solid plan that the board can point me to? I’ve not seen it and, I’ve certainly asked.

At Lucketts Elementary School, overcrowding is an understatement. There is no music or art room, no teacher’s lounge. The resource room for 53 students with IEP’s is the 11×21 former teacher’s lounge. Our music and art teachers forego a classroom because their classrooms have been made into K-5 classrooms to make space for more students. Our teachers eat lunch and lesson plan on folding tables in the gym while students are having physical education classes. Hallways serve as storage areas for carts containing a/v equipment, tablets, classroom supplies, ongoing projects etc. These hallways also double as tutoring and testing space. Children should not be receiving classroom instruction in hallways.

The answer from the School Board has been to give Lucketts an addition to the existing school in 2025. Meanwhile, the county Board of Supervisors continues to approve housing in the Lucketts area as lots continue to be sold to families who are bringing in more kids. What would happen if the Lucketts families who homeschool or send their children to private school now, suddenly registered for school at Lucketts next year? Where are these students going to fit?

Rezoning proposed by the board moves students across all grades which would fix class size issues but class size is currently not the issue. Lucketts families have asked that trailers be brought in as a temporary means of overcrowding relief but even that request has not been approved. All of this said, I think the School Board needs to focus their efforts on fixing what is broken now and stop exaggerating their plans for future universal full-day kindergarten.

Hollie Fischer-McTiernan, Lucketts

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