A Quest for Equality

Valley View Elementary is one of 22 elementary schools in the Roosevelt School District in South Phoenix.  Valley View is a Head Start-8th grade school.  The school was constructed in 1956 on eight acres of land.  The school is situated near the base of South Mountain, which is the world’s largest municipal preserve.  Valley View has forty-four classrooms, which include a library, tech lab, band room, music room, art room, home economics room and family center.  In addition to the indoor classrooms Valley View has constructed a community garden, animal habitat, and outdoor murals and mosaics to encourage outdoor education.  

            Although this may sound like this school has plenty of amenities, the school is missing on important necessity.  Valley View does not have a gymnasium or multipurpose room to have a Physical Education class.  This is an extreme deficiency because Valley View is a year round school.  The students are left with no choice but to have Physical Education (P.E.) class outside in the scorching heat of the Arizona sun.  The older students have it worse because they have Physical Education (P.E) in the afternoon, because the younger students attend Physical Education (P.E.) in the morning due to the extreme heat.    

            Having a gymnasium or multipurpose room is an essential amenity in any school.  Valley View’s necessity is even greater because it is a year round school, and the school is open during the hottest temperatures in the United States.  Having a gymnasium or multipurpose room is also essential to host school assemblies.  A facility that accommodates the whole school would be ideal, which are roughly 692 students and approximately 60 staff members.  A facility of this size would prevent separation, because if the facility couldn’t accommodate the size of the school they would be forced to host several assemblies throughout the day to meet the needs of all students.

            Presently Valley View is coping with out these facilities, which is not an easy task.  They were forced to become creative to meet the dire need of the students and staff members.  Presently, Valley View hosts their assemblies every Monday at 8:00 a.m. on the basketball courts.  The whole school attends, because this is the only time the school can be together all at once.  Also, the temperature gauges haven’t started to rise in the early morning.  At the assembly, the school recites the pledge of allegiance, make announcements for the week, gives out awards, and a selected class recites a poem or sings a song (they all get a turn through out the year).  This gives the school a sense of togetherness it needs.  It would be like having a car and having to make several trips because you don’t have enough room, or making a nice dinner and having to eat at separate times because the table is not big enough.  Could you image how good you would feel once you had a car or table large enough to accommodate you.  These students and staff members long for a facility to meet their needs, but don’t see any coming their way any time soon. 

            I know this school has a great case on receiving some funding so I started to do some research and comparisons.  I found out that out of the twenty elementary schools in the Roosevelt School district only six schools have such facilities.  The other sixteen schools have no gymnasium or multipurpose room.  Sunland elementary is the only school that has a gymnasium.  The other five schools have a multipurpose room and they are Ed and Verma Pastor, Amy Houston, Julian, Cesar Chavez, and Clovis Campbell.  I also researched schools in the surrounding areas to view their facilities.  Kyrene and Tempe school district elementary schools all have a gymnasium or a multipurpose room or in some cases both and they are not year round. Kyrene is south of Roosevelt school district and Tempe is east of Roosevelt school district.  For kicks I called Cartwright school district, Creighton school district, Phoenix One school district, and Murphy school district, because these are districts in the greater Phoenix area.  I found that not one district shared the same inequalities that Roosevelt School District face.  These schools all had a gym or a multipurpose room and only Phoenix One had two year round schools.

This research gave me a knowledge I never expected.  In comparing other districts, it was upsetting to find that Roosevelt School District was so frankly deprived.  These students deserve the use of the same type of facilities that the other schools provide their students.  They are not in need of a luxury they are in need of a necessity.