Thursday, May 10, 2012

Parent Surveys on Expansion

Here is a summary of the results we have gathered from the parents' online survey.

  1. Are you aware that Freedom Academy is looking for a new location for the 9th grade expansion (other than the previously announced off site building on 820 North)?
    • (86.40%) Yes
    • (13.60%) No
  2. I am in favor of Freedom Academy expanding..
    • (36.4%) on site.
    • (31.8%) off site.
    • (4.50%) I don't care.
    • (27.3%) I am not in favor of expansion.
  3. Do you plan to send your children to Freedom Preparatory Academy for grades 9-12?
    • 42.90% Yes
    • 57.10% No
  4. Do you have any specific concerns about building a high school on the current site?
    • Many. Most specifically the traffic issues and the loss of the grass for the current students at Freedom Academy.
    • Safety of my children. Freedom can't even give my kids locking bathroom stalls at the current school (for the younger grades, and my son looks forward to being older, so he can have a locking stall. Sad.), and if they can't keep them safe at their current site, how on earth can they do it with a high school and the added concerns it brings.
    • Space!
    • Safety and traffic concerns need to be mitigated. The school needs to make a financially viable decision.
    • glad they finally tried to make it happen ... it is about time ... don't give up your dream ... like a good neighbor Freedom is here :)
    • NOT AT ALL - There are hundreds if not thousands of high schools and elementary schools together. Teach you children correct principles.
    • Yes there is not enough land to accomidate another facility or additional parking. Not to mention the additional physical risks of having high school students next to young children.
    • Safety of my children walking to and from school, Safety of my children around older students, safety of my children around teenage drivers, influence of high schoolers on the young children, traffic for the neighborhood, rushing the whole project. I also feel that the neighborhood has not been considered.
    • The traffic is my biggest concern. The second being that it will take away from the elementary kids. That's where the focus needs to remain if the school is going to continue to be good.
    • Do not want my young girls going to the same school as high school students! 
    • My only real concern is if the playground/baseball field is removed. The the elementary school children specifically need to have the running around space. 
    • The current site is clearly inadequate for a high school (even a small one). There is insufficient space for student parking, driving range for driver's education classes, or athletic facilities (to get students the all important extra-curricular activities so necessary for college admission these days). I have seen no indication in any of the discussion of precisely how the Board plans to mitigate the current problems with traffic, much less the additional problems that will arise if the school is enlarged. In addition, there is inadequate time to complete a major construction project--even if plans are complete and construction begins the day after the elementary students dismiss in 3.5 weeks (which is doubtful, given the bureaucracy that remains to be navigated, as indicated in the mayor's recent letter), there would be less than 90 days to complete the construction before school starts in August. This seems like a very short time to construct a building that will (at a minimum) have to house science labs (with their specialized needs), computer labs, a reasonably well stocked high school library, musical facilities, art studios, etc., in addition to simple classrooms for math, english, history, and other classes. (Unless the plan is to eliminate lab science, computer science, music and art from the ninth grade curriculum). Any unplanned overrun in construction time would result in an incomplete building for the ninth grade students in August, as well as causing the elementary school students to begin attending school with a construction zone in their playground. The board should consider institutional negotiations with local high schools to obtain favorable placement of the 65 committed ninth graders, in order to properly provide for the needs of the students. This would allow them to carefully plan their expansion over the next year (or two), rather than hastily reacting to the loss of the off-site building with an ill-considered plan for building on the current site. If begun early enough, such negotiation would have a high probability of success, and would go far in retaining the credibility of Freedom Academy. In addition, the extra planning time would allow careful consultation with the neighborhood and the city, in order to come to a mutually agreeable solution to the problems inherent in expansion, thereby improving the standing of Freedom Academy in the eyes of its neighbors. 
    • Traffic, being good neighbors, physical safety of my children, overextending resources, protecting my children from teenage social issues and problems. 
    • Significant loss of green space; and the green space that is left will have to be shared with 400 more students. Are you kidding? Major safety and traffic concerns--the neighborhood is simply not set up to accommodate nearly 1100 students, plus faculty, staff and administration on a daily basis for most of the year. That's ridiculous. 
    • No 
    • The items the board is considering before making their decision. 
  5. Do you have any specific concerns about building a high school off site?
    • I worry that the class selection will be too small and limited and that extracurricular activities will be limited for the children. I think the language offerings at the school are too small.
    • No.
    • Distance, travel, prohibitive costs, more of our student drivers on the road for a longer period of time (dropping off siblings then driving to another location)
    • If they can pull it off, I fully support this idea too.
    • not convenient maybe.
    • No
    • I'm afraid the resources that have typically been used in the past for the elementary kids will be unavailable, and that financially the school will have lots of trouble.
    • Increased traffic in the area.
    • No 
    • Not really. I am in favor of a K-12 school no matter where the school is located. 
    • No. 
    • I think it is a waste of taxpayer money when the area high schools offer an astounding degree of choices, electives, and paths to graduation. 
    • A high school is going to be a high-traffic, intensive venture. Spend more time looking for the right location and opportunity for the high school. 
    • No
    • It will cost more money. 
It is interesting to read the varying opinions of Freedom Academy parents. We continue to urge the school to survey the parents regarding high school expansion. Gathering current parent viewpoints would help direct the school at this pivotal time.

If you are a parent and have yet to complete the online survey, please do and let your voice be heard. Encourage others as well. One survey per household please.


  1. Where is the online survey? How many people have answered so far?

  2. The link to the survey is on the right-hand side of this blog under "Get Involved."


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