More Than 30 Middle River Area Families Welcomed in other School Districts 29 Aug 17

More than thirty families from the Middle River Area are being welcomed with open arms in other school districts this year, as parents make the difficult decision to use open enrollment to send their children else-where, disenfranchised by School Board actions that continue to minimize attendance and downsize the role of their neighborhood school.

Since consolidation in 1995, the Middle River School had been home to local elementary students and the District’s 6th, 7th and 8th Grades, but on a split vote, the Greenbush Middle River School Board last spring abandoned their Middle School Model; with 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Grades relocated to Greenbush High School as a new school year starts next week.

That leaves less than 50 children in a school built for more than three hundred, a discouraging reality for Middle River families, who have found themselves under-represented on a school board where a majority of members are from the Greenbush Community.

In recent elections voters have turned back a bond issue to close the Middle River School to build a new school in Greenbush, along with referendums that would have increased Operating Levies, repeatedly asking the school board to commit to a two school plan and options that would invest in the Middle River Facility, pleas that have fallen on deaf ears as administrators continue to downsize due to finances, which only means a further decline in income as per pupil state-aid follows students out the door and into the district of their choice.

With finances in mind, the GMR School Board this month decided to go back to the ballot in November, with identical measures asking for $400,000 to fund capital improvements and another $400,000 to increase the District’s operating levy, but the real the question for the GMR District this fall may be whether parents are willing to invest in one district when their children are attending another.

And just to prove how much is at stake, all of this as GMR Students continue to post some of the highest MCA test scores in Reading and Math anywhere in the state.