Woodland Middle School unsatisfactory to students, faculty

By Lauren Lundeen Packed hallways, dented lockers, students everywhere, Woodland Middle School had just started its day. Inside Holly Bowen-Bailey’s seventh-grade homebase class, 20 students sat in a circle and got the chance to say what they think of their school and education.

“The school should be closed,” Mitchell Synder said. Henry French agreed, “Yeah, the school is broken.”

The impact of the combining of the schools, and quality of the education and overall buildings has been told through the eyes of parents and teachers; however, today students voiced their opinions and concerns. Much was to be said about the number of students at Woodland, as well as the building’s overall maintenance.

“If they’re going to keep us here, things need to be repaired because three of the classes were flooded,” Hannah Wodrich said.

After hearing the students, Bowen-Bailey said that Woodland “is crammed and lockers don’t lock right.”

According to Vice Principal Charles Leibfried, by the fall of 2012 all the students at Woodland will be moved to the old East High School, which will be converted into the Eastern Middle School. In turn, Ordean will become the new East High School. Once moves are completed, the Woodland building will be used one more year for Congdon students, and then it will be completely closed.

Upon hearing of the reconfiguration of the schools in 2012, the students expressed mixed opinions.

“I’d rather just stay in one school the whole time,” Mitchell Snyder said. French felt differently. He thinks, “It’ll be kind of exciting. We’ll be the first graduating class from the new Ordean.”

While these students will be switching schools in the coming years, the affect of the current middle school doesn’t go unnoticed for them, especially the stress their teachers are under.

“They’re definitely stressed out,” Mattie Snyder said. Ella Brown added, “Teachers are busy almost the entire class period.”

The students feel the teachers’ added stress and class sizes affect some of their learning and individual attention.

“Usually if you want one-on-one time with a teacher you go after school,” Mallorie Carlson said.

The students said that most of their classes have up to 38 students in one class. Reed Pasket said, “My smallest class is 32.” Their homebase isn’t your typical class; it meets once a day for only 20 minutes.

These students have already noticed the difference in class sizes with the combing of Ordean and Woodland, especially with the overcrowding.

“The hallways are a nightmare,” Carlson said. French agreed. “Yeah, you literally have to shove your way through the crowds to get to your next class,” he said. “We have three times as many kids here than there’s supposed to be in this school.”

Eight-grade teacher Mary Jo Furtman sympathizes with the students.

“It’s not the problem of two schools combined the way maybe some people thought it would be, but it’s more the problems of overcrowded schools,” she said.

By the fall of 2012, all the students will be moved to either the new middle school or renovated high school. The students agreed that the school change will be a promising solution for the overcrowding.

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