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FOUNTAIN VALLEY : Proposal to Shift Classes Questioned

April 24, 1993|DEBRA CANO

A group of parents appeared before the Fountain Valley School District Board of Trustees this week to express concern about a proposal to change Fred Moiola School to kindergarten through fifth grade.

Moiola is the only kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school in the district.

A district committee has been studying the possibility of changing the grade level structure since late last year. But instead of making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on Thursday night, the committee requested information for further study.

Parent Martha Secor told trustees that she moved to Fountain Valley because she wanted her children to attend a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school.

"I wanted my kids to have a wholesome environment and not be forced to grow up too soon," Secor said.

Other parents who addressed trustees also opposed changing the grade levels at Moiola School, saying they want the choice of sending their children to a grades-sixth-through-eighth middle school or leave them at Moiola School.

"I just feel we have a right to choose, and I don't think we should have that right taken away," said parent Cindy Muehlhaus.

Parents said a school such as Moiola, which has about 550 students, is a positive environment for learning and does not hamper students' transition into high school.

Trustee Larry R. Crandall requested that the district committee research and compile data on a sixth-through-eighth-grade education program, whether it is at a middle school or kindergarten-through-eighth-grade setting.

"I hope this data will help show this school board and this district what the best sixth-through-eighth program is to deliver instruction in the Fountain Valley School District," Crandall said. "We have to keep in mind what's best for the most students in the school district."

Crandall said children attending middle schools are offered a broader education, since they can take electives such as drama, wood shop and home economics.

"Middle schools are the way of the '90s--the kids get a better education and a more rounded education," he said.

Trustee Catherine Hacker said the district shouldn't take away options now offered to parents and their children.

"We need to look at what people want," Hacker said.

Moiola student Danielle Theil, 10, said her school is unique, adding that students should have the right to choose which school they want to attend.

"There's no other school like this in the district," the fourth-grader said. "The teachers are friendly, and you have a better chance in a school like this to get on the cheerleading squad or sports teams because there's not that many kids."

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