On Nov. 5, Mansfield residents will have the opportunity to vote as to whether or not they want to invest in a new elementary school. The project, which would cost the town an estimated $21.6 million, is intended to prepare young students for the challenges and responsibilities they will inevitably face as they grow and progress in their lives and careers.
The focus will center on the development of critical thinking skills, communication between students and teachers and individual specialization of the curriculum to meet the specific requirements of each student. In addition to an expanded and more specific curriculum, the new school would foster collaborative skills and project-based learning with the addition of numerous “common spaces,” including a multi-purpose cafeteria and hallways which attach to the classrooms.
While the children will benefit greatly from access to state-of-the-art technology and learning facilities, they’ll further benefit from effective teachers.
“The staff will be able to work more directly with students and potentially offer better services due to the individualized nature of the experience,” University of Connecticut Neag School of Education Associate Professor Tutita Casa said. “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.”
According to reports, the state of Connecticut will cover half of the $27 million expense, leaving the voters of Mansfield to decide whether or not they’re willing to pay the $21.6 million on their end. With state lawmakers refusing to pay for renovations to existing public schools, Mansfield would be required to pay $20 million should they decide to renovate instead. “It would be a burden going in both directions,” Casa said, “and the one that makes the most sense would be investing in a new school.”
That’s probably correct. Mansfield voters do presumably have the option not to renovate or build a new school, but if they want to further the educational capacity of young students and prepare them more adequately to compete and succeed in the “real word,” then it would be prudent to invest in this new institution as they’ve already invested heavily in this fine university.