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Ian Saum, Published September 28 2011

Think about students, families in Central Cass school referendum

I’m writing regarding the upcoming Central Cass school referendum Thursday, where the school district will vote on an addition for the school. I’ve heard some recent graduates say classroom space wasn’t an issue when they were in school, and other people are saying that the new school addition vote is all about extracurricular activities. I want to share experiences on how it’s changed in the past few years, what it’s like now and why we need this addition.

I am an eighth-grader at Central Cass. When I was in elementary school, I constantly had to have physical education in places that weren’t intended for physical education. We spent a lot of time doing various activities in the gym entryway because of events such as the musical, school programs, book fairs, etc. We often couldn’t have recess outside either. So we would have to play in the classroom because there was no other place to go. That left us with way too much stored energy.

During enrichment programs, we had no place other than an old janitor’s closet. That’s not enough space for six to nine people. During a computer applications class in middle school, we had to spend a week or two in the classroom. That was because of various testing going on in the lab. There were basically no computers or space for a computer class. I’ve even had to wait two hours on various occasions to do required assignments for band. There aren’t enough practice rooms for the amount of kids our school has.

All of that’s just for school work. Most students are also involved in extracurricular activities. I’ve had 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. practices for school basketball. It’s bad enough for me living near the school. It’s harder for kids and parents who live out in the country who have to drive in early or stay late. It doesn’t seem fair that they have to do that in order to participate.

I certainly hope people will think more about the students and their families when they vote Thursday. We have a great education system here, but this could make it so much better.

Saum, age 13, is a student at Central Cass School, Casselton, N.D.