My name is Meghan Zieger, I’m a senior at Highlands Ranch High School and I’ve been a student in the district for 12 and a half years now. I want to bring attention to how the changes in the district instigated by your group are affecting the lives of us students and the frustration that has now become widespread.
This is the first time I’ve seen many of your faces and yet you’re all responsible for the biggest decisions regarding my education. My teachers and administrators are the people I see everyday, the people I have relationships with, and the ones who are influencing me. The teachers and administrators are the individuals who deserve the most credit and attention for the hard work they do everyday to alleviate the obstacles we face as students, and who offer the most support in all aspects of student life. My teachers are exhausted and overworked. Over the past few years, I’ve seen them teach more classes and lose planning time, watching them make up the deficit on their own time after spending long days with more students than ever before.
This district is no longer an ideal place to teach, nor to me a place to receive an education. My sponsor for my Spanish National Honor Society left the district after years of laying the foundation for an amazing community service organization leaving hundreds at HRHS at a disadvantage.
My teachers are amazing, and they put so much effort into the school, it frustrates me as they work harder and harder every year with larger class sizes and more classes to teach, with no recognition and watch as the district takes away the things that matter to them. It frustrates me that my friends can’t take the classes they want, because teachers can only teach one section and there’s not room in already crowded classes only offered at one time.
My teachers have to take money out of their own paychecks for supplies for students and in return they get no extra financial compensation for their increased efforts. At my school, students can’t print anything in the building without paying for it, and even though I don’t take a bus anymore, it is appalling that parents must pay for their kids to be able to go to public school.
By increasing student loads, many teachers have to take student aides or else it is impossible to plan material and keep up with grading increased amounts of work with less time. I’ve watched countless teachers, students, and administrators leave, and with them fewer class choices and increased problems for those who remain.
Colleges used to view a DCSD diploma as impressive and credible, but I fear that in a few years when my brother and his friends graduate that won’t remain the case. Students see these changes, they see the consequences of the decisions you make, and they will speak out if these trends continue.