Editorial, Letters to the Editor

An Opportunity for Positive Transformation

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To the editor:

As a concerned member of the community, I feel compelled to shed light on a matter of pressing importance: the future of our local microschools.

It has been confirmed that the principal of Lakeview (and Woodbury) is leaving both schools without leadership. While proponents of saving these institutions may have noble intentions, it’s crucial to acknowledge the writing on the wall and consider the potential inevitability of their closure or merger.
Recent rumors suggest that the newly appointed commissioner of education may be dedicated to consolidating small schools, with a preference for merging schools with fewer than 100 pupils. While these potential changes may bring uncertainty, they also present an opportunity for positive transformation.
Merging preserves community identities while fostering a sense of unity that is sorely lacking in our current district model. Additionally, considering the recent disruptions caused by mid-year school closures in neighboring districts, a carefully executed consolidation may be in the best interest of the entire community.
At the most recent board meeting, it was disheartening to hear a local board member minimizing the desires of 20 families in the district regarding the posting of images of their students to social media without their consent. It seems hypocritical that we can keep a school open for 20 families to the tune of a million dollars from our budget, but we can’t have a useful policy and procedure in place to protect the privacy and wishes of 20 families in the district. It seems that some personal priorities and biases are skewing the narrative away from the best interest of all the children in the district.
Rather than waiting for rumors to materialize into reality, it’s imperative that we proactively address the underlying issues facing our microschools.

As we navigate these uncertain times, it’s crucial to prioritize the needs of all students and families above all else. We must advocate for solutions that promote inclusivity, equity, and excellence in education for every child, regardless of their circumstances.

Let’s come together to craft a vision for our educational future, one that prioritizes unity, cooperation, and thoughtful planning. By working collaboratively, we can create a merger or consolidation strategy that is not only proactive but also respectful of our community’s values and needs.
In doing so, let’s ensure that safeguarding our children’s privacy and preserving their childhood remains at the forefront of our efforts. Together, we can navigate the challenges ahead with wisdom and compassion, laying the foundation for a brighter tomorrow for our children and our community.
Mandy L. Spaulding 
Hardwick

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