Parents considering enrolling their students at the Archer School for Girls in the next few years and parents who plan to keep their children enrolled at Archer must consider whether their children will have the kind of educational experience they want and will be paying for.
Although parents and teachers at Archer have been encouraged to rejoice at the news that the planning commission approved the school’s most recent and much watered down version of its expansion plans, the facts may suggest a different reaction considering that the new plan envisions that all students will be forced into temporary, cramped and unequipped classrooms (probably installed on the athletic field – so what happens to sports and physical education?) OR as yet undesignated OFF-CAMPUS facilities.
The current “Archer Forward Plan” will most certainly negatively affect the quality of the educational environment (and probably the education) of Archer students for AT LEAST the next three years.
Don’t take our word for it. Ask head of school, Elizabeth English these vital questions:
1. When construction starts how will the school assure that the educational and social experience of my child will not be negatively affected?
2. Where will my children be learning (e.g., in an off-site environment or temporary classroom trailers) and what assurances can you give that the facilities will be conducive to the first rate education i am paying for?
3. If education is to continue during construction in temporary classrooms where will they be installed?
4. Are you currently thinking of moving classes to an off-campus location during construction? And if so, what kind of environment are you envisioning and how far are you willing to go from the current campus?
5. Construction is phased to take three years. How will three years of attending school either off-site or in a construction zone affect my child’s educational and social experience? Will there be any health or safety concerns?
6. How will the construction affect my access to the school and busing and car pool requirements?
7. How is this disruptive construction going to affect sports, drama and other campus activities?
8. How will this construction affect faculty recruitment and retention?
9. For parents of students in 8th grade or higher, how will the new facilities benefit my child’s educational and social experience?
10. What portion of the needed funds has been raised and what happens if the remaining funds cannot be raised?
Incidentally, Archer has already paid over about $8,000,000 (over $4 million to lawyers in fiscal year 2014-2014 -ending in June) in hard to raise funds just for attorney fees, architectural changes and other professional consultants making the possibility of raising the additional funds (which keep escalating with every change) more and more remote. This amount probably exceeds the funds raised for the project already.