School plan will make future bright

To the Editor:

Cookson Elementary has always been blessed with being a very diverse school with many different and great families.

Our school motto this year is #bettertogether and we are always striving to spread “Cookson Kindness.”. Our parent/family involvement is the direct reason we can do both of those things. Although we are diverse, we have a strong sense of community, togetherness and it is reflected heavily on our board because at the end of the day our main focus is that these students, families and staff have the best resources and experiences to have a successful education. With new schools, this would allow us to grow our Tiger community and help even more families because with the four community school plan, Forrest would likely merge with our school. There are many students in our neighborhood currently that are bussed to Forrest. With the new plan some will be able to walk to our building and provide a better peace of mind for our parents. Besides, based on all of our feedback, community schools are what we want, not a one building facility.

We also support the levy because sadly, we cannot fix everything with the current buildings we have. This past summer part of Cookson’s roof was replaced, but it still leaks from time to time. Our boiler and fire bells are not as well functioning as they once were because of their age. They are beyond repair. In other schools, we have seen pieces of the walls actually falling off. These are not acceptable conditions for our children or staff to be in every single day. At some point, these become health and safety concerns. Although air conditioning would be a nice addition, that truly is the least of our staff’s concerns. Safety is always a big topic and as parents, more peace of mind will come with new schools that have proper security. Keep in mind, the “newest” elementary was built in 1966 (Hook) and the last new building in the district was built in 1973 and that was the junior high. The time for change is now.

For $20.71 per $100,000 home value or $248.52 annually — we can be better together to make the future bright for the students in our community.

— The Cookson PTO, including Alicia Wheeler, Laura Pellman, Wendy Spain, Cheri Nevels, Becky Haywood, Megan Amburn, Amita Snyder, Brandy Tyler and Laura McConnell