NR-W Board: What is Best for the District?

    By on March 21, 2014

    To the Editor:

    At the North Rose Wolcott Board of Education meeting on March 11, 2014, it was good to see a board of eight again. The three new members will bring new view points. Their experience can be of immense help to the board as it charts the direction our school district will take in the coming months and years.

    When new members are added to a group, the whole group can benefit when they ask questions to become better informed. As former “outsiders” new people may see things that the “insiders” were not aware of. I was particularly encouraged to hear Lucinda Collier do just that at this meeting.

    However, I have concern about what seemed to be indicated in this meeting regarding addressing buildings use and the educational grouping following the decisive voter rejection of what had been put to vote. The following is from the board minutes. “Judi Buckalew began a board discussion regarding the next steps that the board must develop to address repairs that must be done to buildings. Additionally, the Board must start to formulate a charge to the Buildings & Grounds Committee. Mrs. Bucklaew has offered to form an ad hoc committee, to include three new board members and to meet immediately. The purpose would be to educate these members on the work of the Buildings & Grounds Committee. It would include the input from all stakeholders and the financial ramifications of various scenarios that this Committee used. No future plans for building configuration can be formulated until it is determined whether or not the Board can continue to support a K-6/7-12 educational delivery system. Discussion on next steps will start at the March 25th Board Meeting.”

    What I heard from Judi and others was a need to get the Building Committee of the board started very quickly and to get the new members up to speed on the conclusion of the past building committee. While it was admitted that thought must be given the education

    grouping configuration first, I sensed many on the board did not see that this needed much further study.

    At the second public informational meeting before the school bond vote last fall, the question was raised about what studies showed the K-6/7-12 was best for our school district. Is it really best? There was evidence that confusion and misinformation abounded in community. At that same meeting the school officials spoke of having community input. Has the board taken steps to do this? What is the board doing to rebuild public trust? Will the board look further than what the administration maybe wants? Will the parents of the school make their opinions known? How will residents and tax payers of our two communities be affected by what will be proposed? Will more people attend board meetings?

    It is up to each of us in the North Rose Wolcott Central School District to address these complex issues.

    — Lois Wafler, Huron

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