Rome (WSYR-TV) -- Teachers greeted their school board with a rally in Rome Wednesday night. Hundreds of students will be shuffled around next year when a $25.4-million renovation of the middle school gets underway. Teachers are worried the changes will affect learning in the classroom.
Fifth-grader Nicolas Ferretti, the son of a principal, changed schools several times for consolidations and renovations. Now, his class will be bumped again to make room for middle schoolers while their building is fixed up. Ferretti says he's watched classmates struggle to adjust.
"They’re used to one place and everything, how it works there, but then you keep moving and they are getting all confused,” Nicolas said.
Trailers will provide extra classroom space outside some of the elementary schools.
"There will be some students in this district, who will have five and six transitions before they graduate. So, bottom line, I think the research shows that that is never productive,” said 7th Grade English Teacher Joe Eurto.
The district already has open space to host at least one grade, but not both. Teachers asked why the district won't use space at a state-owned facility that has room for more students. Superintendent Jeff Simons said it would have cost $175,000 in renovations for a building that the district doesn't own.
“We’re using the schools that are owned by the district. This is the least expensive option and we're able to complete the object in the shortest period of time," Simons explained.
Another recommendation would keep half of the middle school open, completing renovations on the 7th and 8th grade wings separately, so other grades aren't shuffled around.
"They would be doing major asbestos abatement, several million dollars worth, while school would be in session and we will not put children in that building while that's going on,” said School Board President Patricia Riedel.
After months of review, the plan is final, unless Nicolas’ mom has her way.
"It’s not just about my kids. I don't want to see any child having to go into a trailer to be taught,” Patti Ferretti said.