Please Save WES
As a parent, a teacher, a rural resident, and an American citizen I must express my distaste for the consolidation of our schools. Specifically the Woodstock Elementary School, the Andover School, and Crescent Park School.
My daughter is one of the lucky children who attends the Woodstock Elementary School. She leaves for school happy and comes home singing “I love school.” She wishes away vacations and long weekends because she loves her school family and the learning she experiences at WES. Does your child's school bring that gift to your home? I'm glad mine does!
WES exceeds my standards (not an easy feat) as well as state and federal standards. It ranks among the highest scoring of elementary schools in the area by greater than 10 percent the state average -- the highest ranking in the district as well as surrounding districts.
The proposal to close Woodstock and Andover Elementary schools and bus the students to Crescent Park School in Bethel is ludicrous. The end result will be changing CPS's population from roughly 285 students to around 400 students as well as reducing teaching and support staff. It will take away our neighborhood schools and all the benefits that go along with them. Students could potentially have a two-hour bus ride.
Due to rural life and a stressed economy, many SAD 44 residents had to find employment long distances away in outlying towns. My husband and I each travel over 35 miles daily in opposite directions from Bethel to work at schools in neighboring districts. This would increase our commute by an unreasonable amount and eliminate our current and only after-school child care option. How are working tax-paying families like ours going to manage the financial increase and time demands added to our day? I'll tell you how -- we won't. My family will have to move and until then we will pull our child from SAD 44 all together. The loss of family and academic time alone is unacceptable! I will not agree to put my 6-year-old child through this.
Homes in Greenwood and Woodstock will be less desirable without a neighborhood primary school. Never mind how foolish we would look for closing an exceptional and exceeding school. We are among many who purchased a home here to access WES.
The community will see an increase of behavior and learning problems that crowding brings to go along with the decrease in learning opportunities and instruction that a higher student-to-teacher ratio brings. Extracurricular opportunities will be impacted as well; many Woodstock and Greenwood children will be unable to attend these. The idea that my child will be less able to attend after-school activities with her Bethel classmates due to the time, distance and fuel costs is beyond wrong at this time in our country!
If we are going to be forced to pay more, let's just pay the taxes to keep this commendable school open.
The children of today are the voters and law makers of the future. They will be calling the shots some day. When that day comes ask yourself if we have demonstrated to them citizenship and community. The adults in our community have the responsibility and obligation to do what's right for our children. Certainly the immediate short-term costs will reap long-term benefits for all.
American students no longer rank among the top scoring countries in the world. Decisions like these matter. If we do not provide educational opportunities we will not have adequate progress and outcomes. It is that simple!
Citizens, please become involved by attending town and school board meetings to fight to keep open WES on Jan. 24 and Feb. 14! Write letters to state officials, school board members and talk to your neighbors. Please vote and be heard!