Mansfield residents under the political action committee “One New School: Yes!” are pushing for the establishment of a new state-of-the-art elementary school that would teach children the necessary skills needed to be able to succeed in the real world.
The referendum – which takes place on Nov. 5 – comes at a time when Mansfield’s elementary schools are becoming increasingly archaic. Most have been around for more than 60 years, and are not adequately equipped to teach these children the necessary collaboration and problem solving skills one would experience in day-to-day life.
“A prestigious elementary education is vital; the learning these children experience will allow them to transcend various levels of education,” University of Connecticut Neag School of Education Associate Professor Tutita Casa, said.
Nurturing aspects of collaboration, critical thinking and communication are some of the few things this facility would encourage; moreover, resources would exist for project-based learning due to the varied common spaces, including a multi-purpose cafeteria and hallways that act as extensions of the classroom, according to the official website of “One New School: Yes!”
Most importantly, such an establishment would promote the exponential growth of teachers, expanding their ability to collaborate on curriculum, instruction and student needs, Casa said.
“The staff will be able to work more directly with students and potentially offer better services due to the individualized nature of the experience,” Casa said.
The state of Connecticut would pay for more than 50% of the costs $27 million, while Mansfield would pay $21.6 million, according to the website. The state has ruled that it would not pay for renovations to existing school buildings, meaning Mansfield would need to pay $20 million for those renovations, the website said.
“It would be a burden going in both directions, and the one that makes the most sense would be investing in a new school,” Casa said.
One new school building is estimated to produce about $1 million in yearly operational savings through more efficient use of staff and supplies and reduced energy costs, the website said.
Casa believes the venture will prove itself to be remarkably influential in training and preparing the next generation for what is expected of them in this ever-changing society.
“This incredibly strong staff can do so much with the new environment, while putting to use current educational practices to ensure each student is ready for what lies ahead,” Casa said.
As well as requiring a majority, 15% or more of the registered voters in Mansfield must vote “yes.” Approximately, the number comes out to about 2,500. It is of great importance for individuals to go out and vote due to the weight a single vote has in local elections.
Sebastian Garay-Ortega is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @sebastian__305.