Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Feb. 25 letters to the editor

Questions linger about STEM academy

On Feb. 13, I attended the Monongalia County Board of Education meeting that highlighted the benefits of the proposed Renaissance Academy (RA). I was excited and impressed about the future of Mon County career technical and STEM education. However, a few days out from that meeting, there are some questions that linger.

Simple questions like how will our children get bussed to the RA?

The RA will also need a teaching staff, along with administrators, advisors and kitchen and janitorial staff. How will we pay for this? Will it be out of the MHS/UHS/CBHS budgets?

Will a new STEM lab at the RA mean that the biology lab at one of our current high schools will lag behind in technology?

Will students feel pressured to attend the RA even if they aren’t sure of their own future interests?

What if students change their minds halfway through a year or a semester at the RA? Can they shift back to a traditional high school experience without a negative effect on their grades?

Finally, what about our teachers? If they’re teaching students that may be in their classrooms on Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday, are they being asked to double their preparations for each week? Are they being compensated for this shift in their workload?

I understand that Mon County Schools are very excited at the prospect of bringing the Renaissance Academy to life with the help of voters this May. I’ll admit that I’m excited for the evolution of career technical education and STEM education in our county. However, voters still have questions about what this means for our traditional high schools.

Voters deserve to know more information about the ripple effects the Renaissance Academy will have on future school budgets.

Christina Fattore Morgan