The Madisonville Middle School PTSO made a presentation to the Monroe County School Board recently. In the presentation they hoped to bring the conditions of the school to the attention of School Board and Superintendent. They did just that. But so far, the School Board has not given any indication that they intend to address the conditions. Here is the presentation that the PTSO gave the School Board.
On August 23, 2011, the PTSO of Madisonville Middle School met and discussed the condition of our school. On September 2, 2011, the officers, principal and vice-principal were invited to meet with Mr. Lowry and Mr. Blankenship regarding these concerns before presenting them to the School Board. While we feel that genuine concern was given to our complaints, we feel it is necessary to let each member of the board know how extensive some of these problems have become. The board can only act when they have the information to do so. Our concerns are as follows:
1. EXTENSIVE rodent problem! Including snakes!
1. EXTENSIVE rodent problem! Including snakes!
At the end of school last year, 3 snakes had been caught in the school. Already this year there have been 3 snakes found inside the school. One snake was arguably a copperhead. A student came into contact with one of these snakes in the girl's bathroom. Also, the presence of rodent dropping on the desks of students and teachers is a common occurrence. There is a MASSIVE cockroach infestation of the school. Upon our tour of the school, we witnessed roaches climbing out of trash cans, up the walls, and inside a refrigerator. We also found a nest of baby cockroaches inside the doorjamb of the door our students must enter to get their food in the cafeteria. Also, students have told us that it is common to have to swipe roaches off of the table as they eat.
One student reported that at the beginning of the year she attempted to use the toilet paper in the girls bathroom and baby roaches were inside the roll. It is our understanding that the school is sprayed on a regular basis, but it is quite obvious that no attention has been focused on the root of the problem. Many wasp nests have been found directly outside exterior entrances. Some teachers believe there are nests in the ceiling above their classrooms. It is not unusual for a student to see a wasp flying by them during class. STUDENTS HAVE BEEN STUNG. For some children or staff who may be allergic, this could be a medical emergency.
Not only are the children in an unclean environment, so are the administration and staff. Most teachers do not feel comfortable eating in the teacher's lounge.
This is under the vending machine that sits next to the cafeteria tables.
2. Lack of communication equipment in the classrooms for teachers to use in case of emergency.
There is no means of two-way communication between classrooms and the school office. Teachers are encouraged to use their cell phones in case of emergency. In the case of a TRUE emergency, time simply does not need to be wasted fumbling to get a call through on a cell phone where service is not always reliable or if the line may be busy. The system from the old Madisonville Primary School was supposed to be used at MMS, but no one was able to tell us what happened to the system. Mr. Lowry did promise us that several sets of walkie talkies would be purchased for emergency situations and also for bus duty and play time.
3. Disrepair of the building which contributes to the rodent problem. Each room has a door and/or window air conditioner with visible cracks through which rodents can enter. Not to mention this is NOT energy efficient.
The main exit doors and windows are original to the building which is now 44 years old. With very few exceptions, each classroom exterior door is not sealed substantially enough to keep rodents out. Also, this is NOT energy efficient. The money it would cost to seal these openings would pay for itself in lower utility bills over a very short time. It is the understanding of the PTSO that utility costs have risen this year and teachers and staff are being asked to be more energy efficient by the maintenance director.
Multiple ceiling tiles have water stains and are sagging. These need replacing but more importantly we need to find out WHY this has happened. BLACK MOLD WAS FOUND ON WALLS AND CEILINGS! Each classroom has an exterior door. Each door needs new weather stripping or seal and constant monitoring of these is necessary. The main entrance to the school is in desperate need of replacement! Also, each room has a window air conditioner that has been placed in the wall (not the window). No maintenance of these holes has been done in several years, even though filters are replaced regularly.
The students must walk past the dumpsters to get to computer class which is in a portable building. There are many visible wires/cords that connect the portable buildings to the main buildings. These lines hang so low that they can easily be grasped by the students. The steps to the portable building are in need of attention also.
4. Sequoyah High School students using MMS as a hub for the bus system.
There is a lack of control of these high school students on the MMS campus. These students need to be supervised as soon as they exit their bus until they
leave MMS. Incidents with these students include: fighting, bullying, smoking, hazing of younger students, and profanity EVERY DAY. These students do not respect the faculty and staff of MMS and refuse to listen to instructions. Once in the building, these students ask to go to the restroom and tend to get "lost" in the back hallways of the school. There are some of these students that are riding to MMS with no intention of catching a second bus run. They are there to "hang out" and walk home.
If the students are walking home from MMS, they need to be made to
leave campus as soon as they exit the bus. The problem, we feel, is a lack of manpower to enforce system rules. MMS faculty and staff should not be responsible for their 545 students AND 75+ students from another school. In our meeting, Mr. Lowry said this problem would be investigated ASAP.
5. MMS is the only school in the system without a paid cafeteria monitor.
After a physical altercation with a student last year, the cafeteria monitor at MMS was transferred to SQHS. Since the fall of 2010 when this took place, MMS has been without a monitor in the cafeteria. The administration and teachers
have been forced to monitor the cafeteria during lunch. This is against the duty-free lunch law and a waste of the administration's
valuable time. It is our understanding that after our meeting, plans have been put into place to take care of this situation.
The PTSO feels the school is in need of a PROFESSIONAL cleaning.