After several parents brought pleas for better facilities at Lucketts Elementary to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, supervisors passed those concerns along to the School Board at a joint meeting of the two boards Wednesday evening.
Amy Tribié, president of the Lucketts Elementary School PTA, came to both meetings to make her case. She said she’s been pressing her case to the School Board since last November, with no progress.
“Lucketts is the only school in Loudoun County without a dedicated classroom for music and art,” Tribié said at the Board of Supervisors meeting the night before. “My second grade son has yet to step into a music or art room. As a music teacher, it pains me. Over $15,000 worth of art and music supplies sit in a makeshift closet that was added to our cafeteria last summer.”
She said without a dedicated space, students don’t receive the same quality of instruction. She also pointed out a room used by English Language Learner classes that has no temperature control, so students and teachers bring space heaters and jackets. In the gym, she said, there are glass windows that are shattered several times a year, although the gym teacher has asked for Plexiglas or some other, safer material.
“Our teachers are doing the very best that they can, but they are not magicians,” Tribié said.
Another parent and teacher, Alice Arnold, said the school is dangerously close to Rt. 15 if a child decides to run from the school.
“The inequality in this county is palpable between the schools,” Arnold said. “…Our kids deserve a top quality education, and the facilities are extremely important when it comes to that.”
Tribié pointed out that in 2011, there were plans for a second school building in Lucketts, but those plans have been nixed.
“From what I understand, the option that seemed to be moving forward is busing and moving some kids around,” said joint School Board/Board of Supervisors committee chairman and former School Board member Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin). “Which I’ve got to tell you, given what we’re going to through with Rt. 15 right now and trying to deal with the traffic on that road, there’s got to be a better idea.”
Rt. 15 is famous as one of Loudoun’s most congested and accident-prone routes, and is the subject of an ongoing traffic study and plans for improvement.
Parents pled with supervisors to provide funding for trailers at the school until a more permanent solution can be built. But although the Board of Supervisors allocates a major piece of the school system’s funding, it cannot control what the schools do with that money.