Nearly 25 years ago, I started my teaching and coaching career at Borel Middle School and Bowditch Middle School, as well as being the sports coordinator for all middle schools in San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District.
In these roles, I have spent hours in all of our three San Mateo middle schools (Borel, Abbott, Bayside S.T.E.M) gymnasiums as well as several other middle school gymnasiums throughout San Mateo County. The disparity between the San Mateo middle school gymnasiums and every other gymnasium is vast and shocking. These gyms are unsafe, archaic (50+ years old) and minuscule. The children play on linoleum over concrete floors, while the sidelines and baselines are fraught with dangers in the form of a stage, walls and benches that creep within inches of the sideline. PE classes are crammed into them with the slim hope of getting enough physical activity to prevent the laundry list of obesity-related diseases that await them in their very near future. If gymnasiums are not important nor a priority to our community or our students, why was a new and modern gymnasium built at Brewer Island Elementary School in Foster City? Why is a new gymnasium included in the Bowditch Middle School (Foster City) plan?
The SM-FCSD cannot be expected to match the gymnasiums in other schools districts, but it can control the incredible discrepancy within its own district. If this bond were to pass, Foster City would have two new, modern gymnasiums and the San Mateo middles schools would have none. Unacceptable.
The letter writer is the athletic director for Aragon High School.