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1980 A Year to Take a Stand for Kelly School Children

January 8, 2014

As we moved into the new of 1980, we realized more and more that we lacked the space we needed to have a well rounded experience equal to that of every other child in the Teton County Schools.  Two toilet seats for over thirty people with a plunger next to each one were certainly inadequate.  Stacking desks three high to create a small space for PE, was a poor excuse for a gym.  There was no kitchen, no refrigerator, no stove, only one tiny closet in each room meaning storage space was sorely missing.  So what to do?  We needed to make the needs known for the sake of our present student body and for future students attending a kelly School.  In May we would make our first move.  A school board meeting would be held in Kelly School as the board held monthly meetings in a different school each month.  We stacked the desks in Mrs. T’s room and put up folding chairs for the public attending.  The meeting convened with the school’s windows sprinkled with ash from the eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18.  As Kelly School teachers, we were on the agenda to make a few comments about our work with our students.  During my part, I mentioned all the shortcomings of the school facilities.  I left nothing out.  I recommenced a bond issue be put 0n the ballot to raise tax money for a much needed addition for Kelly School that would include a gym, kitchen, and two additional rest rooms.  There was only one response from only one of the seven board members.  The board member said that the county parks and recreation board had given the Alta Elementary School $40,000 to help them improve their gym.  The board member said I should see if they would give some money for a gym at Kelly School.  I could not believe what I had just heard.  The responsibility for Kelly School belonged to the seven school board members sitting in front of the audience in one of their schools. The county recreation board was not responsible for doing the school board’s work.  After the meeting ended, we went home dismayed by the school board’s unwillingness to give our problem a proper hearing.  I immediately started planning our next move.  We decided to take action that would result in a positive outcome for our students.  Next blog describes an explosive confrontation with school board and superintendent.  t would require digging in and not backing down.





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