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Why Portable Classrooms are Not the Long Term Solution

Ridgefield Schools are overcrowded, the need for change echoes louder than ever.

Picture this: at any given moment during the school day, an estimated one-third of our student population learning in aging portables. These makeshift classrooms, intended as temporary solutions, now stand as stark reminders of a system under strain.

Our elementary schools bear the brunt of this burden, with a shocking 17 portable buildings sprawled across both campuses. It's a clear sign that our student body has outgrown the confines of traditional brick and mortar structures. But this is not sustainable. It's not a solution. It's a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.

Consider this: To respond to the challenge of rapidly increasing enrollment caused by our town’s growth, Ridgefield School District has bought 26 portable buildings, each costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase and install. These structures are not built to last. Battered by time and weather, they demand ongoing maintenance. While they were never meant to be permanent fixtures, the oldest among them already surpasses its intended lifespan.

 But the toll isn't just financial. It's felt in the daily struggles of our students and teachers. Students trudge through Pacific Northwest weather, wasting precious time shuttling between portables for lunch, library, and classes. Teachers, isolated from their colleagues, face challenges in maintaining a conducive learning environment as temperatures fluctuate wildly within these makeshift classrooms. Portable buildings also present increased safety and security risks to our students and teachers.

Let's be clear: portables are not the answer. They are an evident sign of overcrowding and divert vital funds away from true academic enrichment. We've reached a critical juncture where we must look beyond short-term fixes and embrace a long-term response to the pressing issue of overcrowded schools.

The time has come for action. We cannot afford to delay. Our students deserve better. Our teachers deserve better. Ridgefield Schools must rise to the occasion, prioritizing sustainable solutions that ensure every child has access to a safe, conducive learning environment. Let's invest in our future by investing in our schools. It's time to ‘Bond Together’ to pass Propositions 10 and 11 and give our students learning spaces where they can thrive.

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