GMR School Board Decides on Mid-Year Transfer 02 Nov 17

While supportive of school staff, parents in the Middle River Area say they continue to lose confidence in the GMR School Board following a series of decisions, the latest the mid-year relocation of an elementary classroom from Middle River to Greenbush.

“I don’t care about test scores, I want more than an education. I want to know you love my children …”

That comment from parent, Tishara Melcher to the GMR Board of Education, which recently decided on an unusual mid-year transfer, relocating children that have been attending Fourth Grade in Middle River to a renovated computer lab at Greenbush High School after the first of the year.

The move is the latest in a series of unpopular decisions that have disenfranchised families in the Middle River area, with many using open enrollment to send their children to surrounding school districts this year.

Melcher and her husband, Eric, live in Middle River with four children in grades Kindergarten to 10th still attending Greenbush/Middle River Schools, and while Melcher praises teachers and staff, she says the GMR School Board is losing the good faith and trust of parents.

4th Graders will join 5th to 8th Grade Classes which were moved from Middle River to the Greenbush Campus at the end of last year, leaving some 40 children in a school building designed for more than 300.

The October 16th action comes almost on the eve of next week’s GMR School Operating and Capital Improvement Referendums. While a failed referendum next week will certainly spell the final chapter for the Middle River School, parents we’ve talked to say it is just as unlikely that a vote in favor would save it.

Under represented on the School Board, the Middle River Community has been unable to stop the slow shut down of the school, although efforts to build a new school in Greenbush have also failed to prosper, and the on-going dispute has taken a heavy toll in State Aid, with the district hemorrhaging more than 70 students to surrounding districts this year.

For Melcher, it is about all-important child development and confidence that school board members have the best interest of her child in mind; and she says decisions like the mid-year transfer of 4th Grade, don’t do anything to build that trust.