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LETTER: Let Valley Crossing school keep thriving

 As a District 625 (St. Paul) resident, I’m so grateful my daughters have the great opportunity to attend Valley Crossing Community School. It breaks my heart children who may not have a top-rated neighborhood school — even those in District 833 — may be denied this chance once District 833 fully takes over the school in 2016-17.

District 833 parents and residents who care about education choice: support the effort to keep Valley Crossing a choice school; keep its multi-age, group-by-ability approach to learning; and keep its unique community focus. 

Contact school board members and the superintendent about this.

I don’t mind driving my kids to school each day — at least 30 minutes round trip — because I love Valley Crossing’s multi-age learning approach. My oldest, in third grade, easily gets so many leadership opportunities because of this and my youngest looks forward to being a leader in her classroom next year as a first-grader, helping incoming kindergartners.

Also, because teachers instruct their students for two years, they really see these kids’ interests and natural abilities and can foster those. They can better work on the areas in which students struggle, because they actually see how a student progresses through more than one school year.

My favorite part about Valley Crossing is its strong community focus. By staying in the same class with the same teacher and about half the same students for a second year, kids and parents really get to know these classmates and their families better. When your 5-year-old is entering an elementary school with more than 700 students, this matters.

We’ve had fantastic experiences with all the teachers and staff at the school and really want to see Valley Crossing, in its current choice and educational format, keep thriving like it has for years and years.