Dear Editor,

Later this month our community will be asked an important question—are we willing to support our schools?

The answer to me is a no-brainer, and I hope everyone will join me in voting yes on Almont Community Schools bond.

My family is very active in the school community and have experienced directly why this bond is necessary.

I have lived in the Almont school district for 20 years and currently have a child in both the high school and the middle school.

I served on the Orchard Primary Parent Teacher Association for a total of 10 years and was on the Almont Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association for two years. My husband has also been a volunteer coach for the last 11 years.

The most important reason for the bond to pass is the overwhelming need for more classrooms, updated buildings and better security.

Crowding is such an issue that our fourth and fifth-graders have to attend the middle school, which is less age appropriate for their development level.

Larger class sizes also limit the amount of individual attention our teachers can give to our students.

This lack of adequate space has been a long-term issue. My aunt Dorothy Sutherland was a special education teacher at Almont over 10 years ago and was once made to start a year teaching off a cart!

Security is also a major concern, especially in a time when school shootings are a fear every parent faces daily.

The bond would add both additional learning facilities as well as more safety measures, like safety film on glass, updated locking systems and more security cameras plus emergency exit lighting, back-up generators and updated fire alarms.

The biggest controversy over the bond is the proposal to build a field house that would provide safer, more adequate facilities for our sports teams, as well as more learning space and an additional stream of revenue for the district when used as a rental.

For those opposed I ask, how often do you attend our sporting events? To attend and enjoy watching our athletes play and yet deny them safe, adequate space to train is hypocritical!

As it stands, our football players (and marching band) are playing on a muddy, dangerous field that has already caused injury, and the proposed turf field would fix that.

Our track is so bad other schools won’t even attend meets here.

The children of our small community need more opportunities to grow and flourish, which means providing them not only a safe, comfortable atmosphere to learn, but modern technology and facilities that will allow them to thrive.

Even if you still disagree with the field house, to deny them long overdue facilities upgrades because of that is harmful and misses the bigger picture.

Our students deserve better, and when they succeed, the whole community succeeds.

— Heather Throop