Email received from Liz Lynch a parent from Oaklawn Elementary:
I'm emailing to ask you to please read the list below. After reading it ask yourselves if it would be okay if it was your child who went to that school. My son (and possibly next year, my daughter) attend Oaklawn Elementary. As with most schools in Oshkosh the teachers and families are amazing. Totally different than most schools in Oshkosh is that structurally half the school is falling apart, it is overcrowded and our children are not given the resources that other children in Oshkosh take for granted.
If you would be willing to vote to pass a referendum to rebuild/remodel Oaklawn on the current site please email our school board and let them know that. The majority of our parents want a school that fits our kids and fixes our inequities to be built right where Oaklawn is today. If you support this please tell our school board that. And, if you don't support that feel free to also share your opinions. In fact, please let me know why you don't support it so I can better understand those against it.
Issues and Inequities at Oaklawn Elementary
- Classroom size in 1951 section is 20% smaller than most classrooms in district, but still houses the same amount of students as a regular size classroom.
- Hallway size in 1951 section is too small and dimly lit. Inadequate space for children and adults before and after school and between recess and lunch
- Capacity is currently at 92% using district numbers, not taking into consideration our smaller classrooms. We were told that all but one of our smaller classrooms would have 20 students or less, however, two of those classrooms have 23 students. We had to send one kindergarden class to Merrill last year because we had too many students and the same thing is due to happen next year.
- Square feet per student: the district average for an elementary school is 211. Oaklawn’s students have half of what other schools do. Our students have an average of 104 square feet per student. Carl Traeger has 373 square feet per student…that is over 3 times what our children have at Oaklawn.
- “Media Center” (really just 6 shelves of books) should be 1560 square feet (according to the WI DPI) is only 450 square feet, 4000 books too few, no reading space, no tables, in a shared space with computer lab
- Siding: visible holes and some of it is over 20 years old, new siding put on 11/1/11! This new siding was simply put on top of old, rotten siding that already had holes. This is an area that had leaks this year. New siding was simply nailed onto the old. Is there mold underneath the old? Has the leak been fixed?
- Roof: Has not been replaced in over 25 years. Over $25,000 has been spent since 2006 on patching the old roof. In the past it has leaked into classrooms, through windows and through light fixtures.
- Windows: the windows in the old are not functional and leak
- Computer lab: shares space with library causing difficulty with instruction when one class is using library and one class is using computer lab
- Art and Music share a classroom: better than using the gym and a cart, but still not on the level of other schools in the district
- Office space too small
- Storage: currently using gym space to store non-gym related items, books for classrooms are stored in closets in the hallway (not necessarily close to the room that uses them), there are no closets or cabinets in the classrooms in the old section
- 1 faculty stall for approximately 25 staff which is also the storage area for our paper
- Specialty services are provided in repurposed closets
- Entrance to school not safe. Anyone can walk in to the school without having to walk past the office
- Bathrooms in old section are deteriorating – some kids will not use them and walk to the other bathrooms
- Through ARRA funds and parent raised donations (almost $10,000) we purchased a lot of technology…it sits still not hooked up. We have had a Smartboard sitting in a box in a classroom for 8 months.
Thank you for taking the time to help make my children's education worthwhile!