To the Gazette:

Serving in my second year as principal of Ewalt Elementary I am so very proud to be part of Augusta Public Schools.  The accomplishments of this district are simply outstanding. This great success stems from a dedicated group of professionals, parents, and community members who support our schools and the students who attend them daily. My question then is why can we not have facilities that match our outstanding achievements. 

I will speak of Ewalt as that is the school I am most familiar with.  Next year we will be welcoming a new section of fourth graders to our family. The problem is we don't have a classroom for this class.  We more than likely will move our early childhood to a new location but that only solves our problem for the 2008-2009 school year.  The following year that fourth grade class will become fifth graders and we have no room to put them.

Presently we use every inch of Ewalt during the day.  Classes meet in the hall, closets, and any space that is safe for children.  This is not always an optimal learning environment for children.  Imagine you are a student working, trying to concentrate while other classes pass you in the hall or maintenance has to work on a problem while you are being helped in a large closet.  These are just some of the challenges our students and teachers face daily.  Ewalt is a nice school but like any building that is used there are problems that can occur. We deal with a leaky roof, power problems due to computer usage, and other issues that affect student learning. 

In my short time with the Augusta School District it is clear that the students, teachers, administration, and parents support our mission statement that "Student Achievement is Number #1".  Now is our opportunity to continue that mission by providing our present plus future students with outstanding facilities that match our outstanding achievement.

Greg Clark