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Jamestown PTA Upset With Trailer Placement

by ARLnow.com — May 25, 2012 at 10:17 am 4,467 138 Comments

Update at 7:45 p.m. — Arlington School Board Chair Abby Raphael has responded, in writing, to the PTA letter.

The Jamestown Elementary School PTA has fired off an angry letter to county officials after new relocatable classroom trailers were placed in a field near the school’s playground.

The PTA says the community was not consulted about the placement of the trailers, and that the loss of green space will be detrimental to the school.

“This lack of communication on the County’s part is disrespectful, rude, and flies in the face of the Arlington tradition of ‘respectful dialogue,’” the Jamestown PTA said in a letter addressed to the Arlington County School Board, Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy and the Arlington County Board.

The incident is similar to another recent controversy, in which parents at Tuckahoe Elementary School protested the placement of classroom trailers on the school’s playground blacktop. The temporary trailers have become increasingly necessary as Arlington Public Schools deals with a capacity crisis.

The PTA is requesting a meeting with the school board “before we are faced with a fait accompli.” See the complete PTA letter, after the jump.

Dear Board Members:

We are writing this letter on behalf of the Jamestown Elementary School PTA concerning the delivery last week of relocatable classrooms to our school. While we understood that some remedial measures may be inevitable given the overcrowding issues facing our schools, we are asking that installation of these structures be halted immediately and that final installation be delayed until June 5 to allow the school and neighborhood communities to discuss with the County the location of these structures.

Despite whatever misgivings individuals may have about the desirability of relocatables (and there are many), we understand that it is necessary for the County to take measures to relieve the short-­‐term overcrowding of our school. In fact, many parents from our school community have contributed constructively to the County dialogue about overcrowding. Interestingly, when it came time to plan and take action on our school, neither the Jamestown families nor the surrounding neighborhood was consulted at all about where the relocatables would be installed. While the timing of the delivery of the relocatables may have been out of the hands of the County, surely the County could have had the decency to discuss installation preparations and site studies with the school and neighborhood communities. This lack of communication on the County’s part is disrespectful, rude, and flies in the face of the Arlington tradition of “respectful dialogue” between the County and its citizens that is so often heralded by County Board Chairman Mary Hines.

The current placement of the relocatables – in the heart of the school’s heavily used front playground and practically abutting the playground’s ball pit – is less than ideal for a number of reasons, including:

  • The relocatables take up valuable green space used daily by the school, neighborhood children, and County sports teams for physical activity, play, and soccer and baseball games;
  • Placed in a high traffic area, the relocatables will not foster focused learning for students when other children are playing around the structures at recess or during PE classes;
  • The relocatables – hardly pleasing to look at – are in direct line of sight of over a dozen homes in the neighborhood, and sully the atmosphere of the heart of the Jamestown community. Parents also have expressed concern about safety and the potential liability associated with placing the relocatables in the middle of the playground.

If there were no other options available for placement of the relocatables, we could gripe about the lack of communication and the matter would be closed. But there is a far more palatable option for the school and neighborhood community that may only be marginally more expensive, create a better learning environment for our students, preserve valuable school green space, ensure child safety, and have far less community impact. We would like the chance to explore this option with you. Halting installation now could prevent County resources from being wasted should a better alternative ultimately be decided upon.

We respectfully ask for the opportunity to discuss this with you before we are faced with a fait accompli. We are available to discuss this matter with you between May 23rd and May 30th. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Jamestown PTA Executive Board

  • Really

    Please don’t sully the atmosphere of the heart of the Jamestown community.

    • charles

      The Iwo Jima coffee frog could have placed the trailer better.

  • Sam

    I’ve drove by this earlier in the week and it is an incredibly moronic location to place these trailers. I normally roll my eyes at these types of letters but I have to say I agree with this one.

    • charles

      Proved again: Ya don’t have to be smart to be an Arlington County employee.

      • Josh S

        Proved because you read about it on the internet?

  • South Awwlington

    What is said alternative? I highly doubt the just dumped this thing in the “green space” without some form of analysis.

    • Sam

      Go take a look at the placement. It’s really odd as it completely splits the playground in half and it’s right on top of some sort of pit thing. I can’t imagine it will be a good learning environment for kids in those trailers during recess.

      There’s a back fence along the property where it could have been placed as well as a completely empty field behind the school that could have been used (though I think that is Arlington parks property). From what I heard (admittedly second-hand) it was all done to save a couple thousand on utility hook-ups.

      • South Awwlington

        I was asking about the alternative because it was alluded to in the PTA’s letter but never stated. As if it were the nuclear codes or something.

    • WeiQiang

      I know, right? Wasn’t the site plan discussed at prior planning/PTA meetings?

      • James

        No it wasn’t discussed with anyone at the school or in the community. Even the principal of the school didn’t know where they were going to be placed until they arrived on site.

        • WeiQiang

          That’s my point. The admin and the PTA knew trailers were coming, but trailers aren’t the end game. Students taking classes in the trailers is the end game. Location, utilities, cost, availability date and the like are all thing that should be known/planned before anyone spends a dime. Most importantly, there are installation costs and accomodation costs [sidewalks/paths leading to the trailers] that are likely site-determined [grade, foundation, soil, etc], so a major cost component should be determined up front and would, in my estimation, require that everyone know where specifically the trailers are supposed to be placed. #FAIL for those who didn’t share that info or didn’t ask.

          • drax

            Yep, gotta have a good grade, solid soil, near a utility hookup, near a school entrance…

  • novasteve

    Thems fancy words “fait accompli” when showing a giant trailer!

    • John Fontain

      I wonder if snobby people in France write letters in their native French and then throw in a couple of words in English to show off their “sophistication.” Something like this…

      Nous demandons respectueusement d’avoir l’occasion d’en discuter avec vous avant que nous soyons confrontés à un accomplished fact.

      • drax

        About a third of the words you use every day were borrowed from foreign languages. No big deal.

        • novasteve

          Dammit! This is America, speak American!

          • WeiQiang

            That darned Amerigo Vespucci …

          • drax

            No va, steve!

          • novasteve

            What? WHAT?????? You speaking one of them thar foreign tongues?

            USA! USA!

          • Douglas Parker

            Nice to see you two gettin’ along.

      • novasteve

        Nope, they use italian words to do that.

      • Elmer

        I can’t resist. Its a learning cottage-not a classroom/relocatable trailer
        Please adhere to Arlington Speak.

  • Too much time on your hands

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You cannot demand that boundaries don’t change and then not expect trailers to arrive to handle to extra students. Also, when those families bought their homes they knew the school was there. They cannot dictate what the school does with its property if it meets the guidelines of the permits.

    • SteveM

      Agreed…

    • drax

      It’s just about placing the trailer, not whether there should be a trailer. Nor is it about dictating anything.

    • Homer

      mmm cake

    • CommonCents

      +1. And if we only allowed legal citizens at our schools, we wouldn’t need trailers at all. You get what you vote for.

  • WeiQiang

    OK … why do these types of communication tend to focus on or lead with victimization terms like “rude” and “disrespectful”? I’m not saying that it isn’t true, but these are subjective issues that don’t get to how the placement/existence of the trailers will affect learning outcomes … the mission of the school. How about starting off with “We’re concerned that the placement of the trailers does not support the most effective integration of these temporary structures with school itself. blah blah”

    From the [admittedly limited perspective of the] pictures, the trailers don’t seem to be near the school itself. I’d say that’s pretty important. Instead, the letter lists the following priorities:

    1. Green space for sports
    2. Distracting [the most relevant of the three, but only because of proximity to the play area ... what about proximity to the learning area?]
    3. An aesthetic blight for us neighbors to look at

    I get that folks might be frustrated but focus on the outcomes and you might get there quicker.

    • South Awwlington

      Because we all like to play the victim in Arlington? :)

      • WeiQiang

        LOL. I don’t think that it’s intentional. However, I think it’s a common approach in most of our public interactions these days. Look at the political/media approach to issues … “War on [me]” … “The attack on [me] is reprehensible”. Look at posts on ArlNow … since a lot of folks use few words [except for me, sorry] people express their emotions using some rhetorical devices that seem to be intended to provoke a reaction or express that they’ve been wronged … and no one is discussing the merits/facts of the argument. Some of us know that this is a great negotiating tactic because we can get concessions when the counterparty spends their time arguing stupid stuff.

        Sometimes there is authentic offense. However, taking the time to write a letter representing a group of adults with a legitimate technical gripe makes this approach seem sub-optimal if they’re trying to get a specific thing done quickly.

        • South Awwlington

          Agreed. And while the Arlington Way is better than No Way, we would all need to realize it doesn’t always equal us getting “our way.” We should be grateful that the County even seeks our input at all.

          I have disagreed with them many times but at least we get to say our piece. This isn’t the case in all jurisdictions.

          • CarlJr

            You realize that is exactly the point of the letter right? They feel they did not get any input.

          • DarkHeart

            Sounds like they had been given the opportunity to provide input in the past, but perhaps that input/agenda conflicted with the greater good solution the County needed to implement. Maybe they would feel more comfortable moving a few blocks north to McLean.

          • South Awwlington

            Carl – My point was that we get a lot of input on projects that are relatively large in scope. Temporary placement of educational trailers my suck aesthetically for your neighborhood, but rest assured it is only temporary.

            If the principal was not consulted, as contended, that is a serious issue and should be addressed.

          • WeiQiang

            I’m a little less sanguine about the Arl Way. I love living here and think I get value for money. However, I think County offices lose their way, making transparency and project execution suffer. I had a neighborhood assn president from an ADJOINING neighborhood convince my neighbor to submit a request to my n’hood assn requesting that the county install a sidewalk in front of my house … all without my knowledge or input. Problem is, the County had done work in front of my house years before – leaving some large underground obstructions – and the project would have been MUCH more complex than they thought. After I talked to the public works guy, he agreed that it would require more engineering and other departments, so he cnx’d the project. The REAL ArlWay would have avoided that.

          • bemused bystander

            So did you talk to your neighbor (although he/she apparently didn’t initiate talks with you) as well as the “public works guy” (who these days is the “DES guy”)?

          • WeiQiang

            I talked to my neighbor, OTHER neighbors [KEEP YOUR SIDEWALKS OFF MY LAWN], the other n’hood assn prez, my n’hood assn, and the DES guy.

            At the time, the “Missing Links” form online required the owner of the affected property to sign an acknowledgement that someone was asking for a sidewalk. When I brought this up with the n’hood assn and DEC, they told me that they don’t have to because the policy had changed. It took them months to amend the online form and the bogus info on the “Missing Links” program. Honestly, I don’t think it was any of the technical info that convinced the DES guy to cnx the project. I think [once I determined that everyone's action in the process violated the stated objectives and methods of the process ... nevermind any semblance of neighborly consideration] it was my stated intention to take the issue and the facts to the County Board as a bait-and-switch that got them to act.

          • South Awwlington

            lol we could actually argue that the true ‘Arlington Way” was that of the neighboring Association President. In other words, avoiding you, intentional or not, seeking out your President and attempting to get you a gift from the county, all without seeking ANY input from the property owner.

            The real Arlington Way: “Don’t mess with my stuff while I am intruding on yours.” JK. :)

          • drax

            You’d have a shred of a point is the sidewalk had actually been built without his input. But it wasn’t. The system worked fine.

          • drax

            You’re complaining because nothing happened, like you wanted?

          • WeiQiang

            Had someone followed the process, ‘nothing’ would have cost a lot less in manpower to get as far as the project got. As it is, it was only by chance that a thoughtful neighbor heard the neighbor who filled out the form and knew we had issues. We shouldn’t be spending the taxpayers’ money by chance. As it was, the taxpayers overspent because the administrative approvals had been done. If someone followed the rules, the project wouldn’t have gotten as far as it did.

        • Anon

          Pot, meet kettle.

          • Kate

            LOL. So true.

    • CarlJr

      Seems like a perfectly reasonable letter to me.

    • drax

      Great point.

      You see people overreact here too.

      • outraged!

        I find your comments to be rude and direspectful of posters on Arlnow. How dare you attack us in such a way!

    • John Fontain

      I noticed the same thing about that wording in the letter and thought it was amateurish and unprofessional for a PTA. The letter comes off sounding like it was written in haste without any contemplative editing.

  • Tobe

    Eh, this Trailer Park’ing of our schools is really unfortunate.

    What I see in that picture that bothers me is poor construction site management. They should at least erect some sort of construction barrier to enclose the site and lay-down area. That’s what we call and “Attractive Nuisance” in the biz, and ripe for people, especially kids, to carry out mischief.

    • South Awwlington

      I am curious. Will we ever be able to keep up with the population influx of school aged children. As with all arguments, there are two sides. I don’t have kids so I wonder what’s really the truth. We hear of the evaporation of families in Arlington and the need to attract them to the County and then we read about continual overcrowding in schools. Which is it? And why?

      • drax

        “We hear of the evaporation of families in Arlington and the need to attract them to the County”

        Where do you hear that?

        • South Awwlington

          This very website kind sir has reported on the reduction of families in Arlington and the need to provide housing for said families.

          • drax

            Hmm. Well, then, you can easily compare that report to the enrollment at the schools and answer your own question.

          • South Awwlington

            My question is why are two, glaringly different perspectives being given on a statistically provable claim. We aren’t debating Presidential Politics of subjective theories.

            If school population weren’t increasing, we wouldn’t be building new schools.

            Why the claims that family retention in Arlington is down?

          • South Awwlington

            *or*

      • SoArl

        I just registered my kid for kindergarten so I don’t really have a ton of experience with the schools yet but, so far, I really have no complaints. The class sizes are very reasonable (same size as the preschool the kid goes to now), there are a lot of choices of where to enroll your child, and the facilities seem great. I honestly don’t care if my child gets put into a trailer becuase I can’t see how it would effect her learning. My sibling is an elemetary school teacher in a weathy area in Florida and, compared to what she has to deal with, Arlington County schools seem like a utopia. I’m probably going to be crucified for saying this but I think some of these complaining parents should just send their kids to a private school (not knocking them, I went to private school). Of course, I may feel differently after my kid starts this fall…

        • Sam

          As it’s been mentioned repeatedly, there are no complaints about using the trailers. It’s simply about the placement of trailer. Not sure why this is so difficult but I’m assuming most people just read the headline and skip to the comments.

          • SoArl

            Oh, I’m sorry, I was speaking in more general terms about complaining parents in Arlington. No need to be totally snotty.

          • drax

            No need to be snotty about you being snotty about people being snotty.

          • SoArl

            Sorry, I’m an editor – Hence, why I get so upset about someone questioning my reading comprehension.

          • Andrew

            From the letter: “Despite whatever misgivings individuals may have about the desirability of relocatables (and there are many)”.

            So, yeah, they did sort of sneak a compalint about trailers in there…

          • tad

            Is that surprising? I mean even if you asked the school board they would tell you trailers are not the preferred method of dealing with this situation. They are a necessary evil and nobody thinks they are anything more than a temporary, undesirable, solution.

        • Elmer

          Agree with your point about complaining parents should send their kids to private schools.
          Why are we taxpayers having to fund Montessori, ATS, Science Focus, the other closed cliques and exclusives?
          Lets return our schools to the neighborhoods and let the snooties pay their own freight for where they want to send their little darlings.

        • southarlington

          I am totally with you with all the complaining parents if they do not like the school system move to another school, private that is espically when you get wind that some North Arlington parents are going to sue the school system because of some of the boundary changes.That is why there isn’t any huge differences,because fear was placed on the School Board members from these parents

          I have dealt with trailers issue at Claremont and they took away space away from the playground too but there was nothing we could do because that was the best place to put them . You also got people complaining about there property value going down because of the placement of the trailers …it is county property so the neighborhood did not need to be informed about the placement …they had no say. Mind you these houses are on a little hill above the school property and set forward rather than back towards the school so they can not even see the trailers….

          • SoArl

            They were going to sue? Seriously? Do you have any idea on what grounds?

  • nom de guerre

    “This lack of communication on the County’s part is disrespectful, rude, and flies in the face of the Arlington tradition of “respectful dialogue” between the County and its citizens.”

    Sounds like someone borrowed a karzai quote ranting about an unamed local business.

    • drax

      Maybe Karzai wrote the letter.

      • nom de guerre

        Maybe, but I think he is very busy working on his business plan for his bagel joint.

  • Rick

    The field around back is 10x nicer than the field in the front, it would be a tremendous mistake to put them around back. School system should look at lengthening the wing of the building that comes closest to Delaware St to add at least two classrooms.

  • C

    The trailers are actually placed very close to a school access point. The back field belongs to Arlington County- not the schools. Students can use the field during the day for P.E. and recess. I haven’t driven by, but I think the trailers only separate the playground from the “pit” which is a new addition to the playground. The playground sit directly outside 4 classrooms in the school, so the idea that the location would be disruptive to learning doesn’t hold up.

  • Oh lawd

    Good thing we have no real problems in the world or anything…

    • John Fontain

      Rich white people problems. They likely would have complained about placement no matter where the trailers were placed, solely because they believe they should have say in all issues related to managing the schools (even though we pay professionals to do that on our behalf).

      • SoArl

        Totally agree. I have too many other things to do with my time than micromanage the placement of trailers – apparently, others do not.

        • CommonCents

          So true. I have just enough time to read these crazy rants and comments… but not nearly enough time to launch letter writing campaigns and hold up signs at a County Board meeting. It must be nice having THAT much free time. All the dollars and no cents.

      • ArlingtonNative

        +100.
        Exactly.

        • ArlingtonNative

          (+100 was meant for John’s initial comment)

          • Josh S

            And so it was applied…..(you’ve noticed the indentations, right?)

      • Josh S

        BINGO. We have a winner!!

  • Mike

    Use the funds Zimmerman wants to spend for streetcars for more open space and classrooms on top of existing classrooms.

    • ACDC Hack

      That is Monsieur Zimmerman to you !!!

    • Trolly Troll

      Exactly, lets channel tax payer money into well-to-do affluent neighborhoods so the residents dont have to look at a couple trailers from their million dollar houses.

      • JoshS

        Thank you for this completely useless comment.

        • Trolly Troll

          Did you see what happened there? Mike was trolling for a trolly discussion. Then did you see what I did there? Its called irony. Let me explain it to you, there was a comment about diverting funds from a proposed transportation project to rectify the plight of the PTA and I questioned that through irony.
          I see how commenting on how useless comments are is very constructive.
          Again, that was irony.

          • Trolly Troll

            irony? sarcasm FAIL

          • barry

            But it’s OK for County employees and School System employees to troll here 9-5 M-F promoting this or that project that they ‘coincidentally’ are involved with at work? And attacking those who oppose the project?

          • drax

            I don’t see county employees here very often. They pose specific answers sometimes and then leave. Usually they completely blow away some ridiculous rumor with one post.

  • Figures

    This is the same group of parents that whined when APS started requiring visitors to check in at the office that they “no longer felt welcome at their own school”

  • Disrespected

    That’s just RUDE

  • YTK

    If they play softball on or near tha green field– just hit the ball so it bounces off the side of the trailer– just rewards, i say.

  • WeiQiang

    Get those trailers off my lawn!

    • drax

      Nice.

  • somewhere the rest of the world is laughing

    Perhaps the trailer delivery man just picked an easy spot. OR perhaps the decision was based on concerns for security, soil/drainage, connection to existing infrastructure, accessibility….

    I wonder how many of the authors of the letter have a house that backs up to the new trailers?

    • James

      None of the PTA board has a house backing up to the trailers. Also there aren’t any houses that back up the trailers; they’re all across the street.

      • Cycling Jorts

        I tried to get my house to back up. It made a loud beeping and some gears grinding, and then it cut off.

        • WeiQiang

          Arlington Code now requires all new-build and remodeled homes to have back-up cameras. ABC’s 20/20 demonstrated that you can fit 200 puking kids in a classroom trailer behind one of those behemoth homes, and you can’t even see the trailers from the street. I don’t have a link to the video, but I can send you a pic that Trevor gave me.

  • SoArl

    Okay, I have to point this out:
    “Parents also have expressed concern about safety and the potential liability associated with placing the relocatables in the middle of the playground.”
    Are the kids going run smack into the trailer? What does this even mean?

    • Trolly Troll

      And how distracted are they really going to be with 4 windows and the background hum of the A/C units.

    • WeiQiang

      It means that, if some kid pukes on the playground from being dehydrated, 199 other kids will run away in panic and some may – just may – run smack in to or seek cover under the trailers. The school will then be locked down until ACPD and ACFD respond.

      Solution: install bollards around the trailers. Who could miss those?

    • drax

      Amateur lawyers are hilarious.

    • arl2012

      It’s okay. They have outlawed the game- Tag- at all Arlington Co. Elem schools and essentially any type of “chase” game.

      Our trailer-park kids will be just fine sitting around letting their asses get large since they aren’t allowed to run anymore.

      My son tells me daily how the boys are bored and are only allowed to ‘sit there’. If they ‘break’ the chase rule they have to write a letter home apologizing for playing.

      • SoArl

        Oh, crap. My girl is going to be in trouble all the time. See, you know this was instigated by some control freak helicopter parent.

      • SomeNottinghamKnight

        I assume Dodgeball and Crab Soccer on scooterboards are right out too?

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Arl2012,

        I’m glad I grew up in the era I did (elementary school during JFK/LBJ) – kids actually played, had fun and got exercise, and yes, dodge ball, tag, etc. The teachers got on our case if we sat like bumps on a log during recess.

        “If they ‘break’ the chase rule they have to write a letter home apologizing for playing.”

        Are you serious?!?!?! Good night, nurse!

        • HamDil

          I wonder when Smear the fashionably dressed young lad got nixed.

      • drax

        Bull.

        Kids are not forced to just sit around and do nothing at recess. That’s simply false. Either your making this up or your kids are overstating the case (imagine that!). To them, not chasing may feel like doing nothing, but they are moving plenty. Go see for yourself.

        To the rest of you – do you really believe every crazy story you hear on the Internet?

  • John Fontain

    What many here don’t know is that this letter follows closely on the heels of another letter written recently by the Jamestown PTA Executive Board. I’ve obtained a copy, which was not intended for public distribution, but I’ll share it anyway in the interest of public disclosure….

    Dear Board Members:

    We are writing on behalf of the Jamestown Elementary School PTA concerning the orientation of toilet paper rolls in our precious childrens’ school. We understand recently that certain janitorial guidelines are not being followed on a consistent basis. Namely, the preferred ‘over’ (in front) orientation of toilet paper hang is reportedly being substituted – without consultation of the PTA – with an ‘under’ (behind the roll) orientation.

    While we understood that some ‘under’ oriented rolls may be inevitable given the issues facing our schools, we are asking that installation of these ‘under’ oriented rolls be halted immediately and that final installation be delayed until June 5 to allow the school and neighborhood communities to discuss with the County the proper orientation of these rolls.

    Despite whatever misgivings individuals may have about the desirability of the two primary methods of roll orientation (and there are many), neither the Jamestown families nor the surrounding neighborhood was consulted at all about the occassional change in how these toilet paper rolls would be installed. Surely the County could have had the decency to discuss installation preparations and studies with the school and neighborhood communities. This lack of communication on the County’s part is disrespectful, rude, and flies in the face of the Arlington tradition of “respectful dialogue” between the County and its citizens that is so often heralded by County Board Chairman Mary Hines.

    The ‘under’ orientation of toilet paper rolls is less than ideal for a number of reasons, including:

    •Increased chance of full hand contact with roll
    •Greater difficultly in finding loose end of paper
    •Increased chance of prolonged roll spin upon tearing of paper

    We respectfully ask for the opportunity to discuss this with you before we are faced with a fait accompli. We are available to discuss this matter with you between May 23rd and May 30th. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Sincerely,
    Jamestown PTA Executive Board

  • Sigh…

    Oh, for your child to be attending a school where the most pressing concern is how much ‘green space’ the temporary classrooms are taking up.

    This is more about control-freak parents than the kids, who couldn’t care less.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    Sigh wrote: “This is more about control-freak parents than the kids, who couldn’t care less”

    It sure seems that way. I should have the type of tsorres these folks have!

  • C’mon Buddy

    “The relocatables – hardly pleasing to look at – are in direct line of sight of over a dozen homes in the neighborhood”

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, poor baby!!!

  • southarlington

    The grounds were they did not want there kids bused to a South Arlington school that could fit there over-crowded school . They did not want there kids to cross the Rt 50 line that is why the boundry is East/ West. There were some other reasons but that is the one that sticks out the most . I think you can figure out what school this is ….it begins with A and ends with a S.Hoepfully you can figure out what the middle letter is . Mind you this is about 5 years but this school never moved and is know getting a addition and I wonder why this is and why they could never move eventhough the school they were going to move is still 1/4 full…..I hope this helps . Welcome to the lovely Arlington County School System …..

    • drax

      The reason Rt 50 is a school boundary is that it sucks to make kids cross it, especially when we’re trying to encourage walking and biking to school. It has nothing to do with class.

      • South Awwlington

        I live south of 50 and my high school is Washington-Lee.

        FYI.

  • Steven

    Nimby.

  • barry

    So school system staff doesn’t like parents complaining on this blog? School system staff and their consultants should come up with solutions rather than spending their “work” days here attacking parents.

  • bigdaddyva

    I am a Jamestown parent and was horrified by the tone and tenor of that letter our Executive Board sent. Not only did it misspell Mary Hyne’s name, it sounded petulant, and dismissed legitimate parently concerns as “gripes” — I suspect that’s a reflection of the poor vocabulary of the letter writer, but even so. The Jamestown community was given no opportunity to have input on the messaging of the letter, and I nearly wrote a subsequent letter to scream “these harpies don’t speak for us!”

    But, sadly, they do.

    The trailers should be moved away from Delaware Avenue, but not to the back. It’s a safety thing for teachers working late (it gets dark at 4:30 in the winter here, remember). Just move them down a few feet.

    • James

      Well, that area isn’t exactly a major hotbed of crime so I’m not sure teacher safety is too at risk by being in the back. There’s already a small parking lot back there that teachers use. I think that moving them along the back fence next to the gym entrance would be a good compromise. It would leave the field open for play and put the trailers a little further away from the main areas of the playground that get use.

  • Arly

    John Fontain – great letter! I would have laughed even more if it had not been so close to the truth. I find all this discussion interesting – even entertaining – but I do want everyone to realize that that poorly worded, unprofessional letter was written and released by the Jamestown PTA executive board with NO input from the PTA (or the principal as far as I know), and obviously no one proofed it. There are so many in the JES community who are embarrassed; but of course, if we complain or dare question anything, we’re told that it’s our fault because we don’t attend enough meetings or volunteer enough. So…wasn’t your complaint that APS made a decision without consulting you? How about consulting the people you represent before firing off embarrassing letters on our behalf??

  • ArlTeach

    As an Arlington county teacher at a comparable school, you are going to find portables at just about EVERY school in the county!! You can’t help where the portables are put, so deal with it. Do you really think WE like teaching in them? We do the best we can in any circumstance. Until something is done with the school zoning, or more schools built, the complainers just need to deal with it and let us teachers do the best we can at teaching our children.

    • drax

      I feel sorry for the teachers and administrators at J-town who have to deal with this group of parents.

    • Old Timer

      It’s sad that over the 35 years that I’ve lived in Arlington, we’ve moved from open communication and a complete adherence to the Arlington Way to a level of dialogue where we just say “deal with it” (especially when it comes from someone claiming to work for the County). I’ve got no dog in this particular fight but I’ve seen a seen a steady degradation in the quality of community discussion within every facet of our County government from the County Board all the way down to the School board. Rather than an initiating an open dialogue, a great many of the County & School board meetings have turned into a we’ve-made-up-our-mind-already-so-deal-with-it one way street. It’s pretty pathetic if the principal really didn’t know where these were going or if no notification was given to the school community but I guess it’s pretty typical of the quality of the people we have in our local government as of late (and no this isn’t a Republican vs. Democrat issue).

      • drax

        If there’s a communication problem, it’s with this pathetic PTA executive board. The school should not be expected to go ask permission from the PTA on where to put trailers. That’s not the Arlington Way, that’s micromanagement.

        • Old Timer

          There were trailers at Jamestown previously (where the current playground is located) and I remember them working extensively with the neighborhood as well as the PTA on placement. Placing them on school property without the principal even knowing where they were going and then saying deal with it is not the right way to handle things. But like I said, things have really changed in Arlington in the past 10 years; especially in how we are treated by our elected leaders.

          Lastly, I don’t really have much of a vested interest in this topic so I’m just going to let this thread die.

          • Elmer

            Yes, 100% The New Arlington Way. Arrogance personified from our elected officals. No accountability and knee jerk defenders with blinders on.

          • drax

            You’re saying the principal didn’t know where the trailers went? Where’d you get that?

  • Rich people problems

    How many schools have trailers? Why is it that parents’ heads have exploded only at Tuckahoe and Jamestown? Don’t these people have anything better to do?

    • southarlington

      Claremont has trailers and the only people that complained about them were the neighbors because they thought it would ruin there property value mind you these house are set up on a hill and can not see the trailers….so it is not a rich persons problem….

    • Arlington, Northside

      All of our heads explode, but some of us deal with it by contacting those we have a problem with directly, while it appears those in other neighborhoods like to bring the dirty laundry out for the media to get a good shot for the front page.

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