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Parents Outraged with Redistricting Plan

Winchester parents provided Patch with a letter they submitted to the School Committee outlining reasons why they are against the proposed redistricting plan.

The following letter was sent to the Winchester School Committee in regards to the . Sue and Stephen Kim of Winchester provided this letter to Winchester Patch.

Dear Members of the School Committee,

As parents of a former and current student who live in the Cedar-Tremont- Swanton-Winter St neighborhood, we are truly outraged with the proposed redistricting plan. We appreciate the difficulty the committee faced in determining which neighborhoods would be moved to different schools, but the recommendation does not appear to take our neighborhood’s strong arguments for safety and walkability into consideration as evidenced by the outcome and the Redistricting Advisory Committee’s (RAC) own report. Our neighborhood presented thoughtful and reasonable arguments based on children’s safety, walkability to school and preservation of the fabric of this Muraco neighborhood community.

Since the Redistricting Advisory Committee is no longer meeting and the School Committee will most likely make their decision based upon the RAC’s final recommendation, perhaps our comments will have little effect. Nonetheless, we want it noted that we are justifiably upset and have valid, unanswered questions. The RAC’s primary mandate was NOT the safety of our children as evidenced by their own statement in the report:

Safety: Although the public raised comments about the safety of traveling to and from school on busy streets and/or poor sidewalks, the RAC was not charged by the Superintendent to assess how safe an access route was for a family walking to school.

However, as members of the School Committee (even though there are overlaps between the School Committee and the RAC), you MUST consider all these other crucial factors such as safe access to schools and walkability. Do not be rash. Your decision has significant implications for families for many years. Winchester residents have entrusted vital aspects of our community to your service and stewardship. Do not permanently alter communities and neighborhoods when the RAC had only one main priority in mind.

With all due respect, may we ask:

  • How are our children supposed to walk safely to school now? Why were health and safety not considerations for our neighborhood, as stated in the RAC report? Do we now have to drive more, hire more child care providers since Lynch is beyond walkable distance for children, and there is no safe walking route to Lynch for our children? We will no longer have a healthy “walking school bus.” The RAC stated in their report:

Any student who lives two miles or greater from a school in grades K-6 must receive free busing service, according to state law. Therefore, by keeping all student travel to 1 1⁄2 mile or less, the district would not absorb any new operational expenses.

In other words, the RAC is recommending that the residents in our walking neighborhood should incur the added expense of either busing or driving our children to Lynch or hiring additional child care providers to assist with rides. All of the residents in our neighborhood purchased our homes with walkability to schools and other expenses in mind. The recommendation forces our socio- economically diverse community to make all the sacrifices in safety and the health of our children. Many families in our neighborhood have modest means and you are forcing our diverse community to bear the brunt of economic costs resulting from redistricting. Families who currently drive to their respective schools purchased their homes with the driving necessity already in mind. Please take that into consideration.

  • Was it really just about numbers of children, rather than keeping them in their neighborhood schools? The RAC stated in their report:

Ultimately reaching target enrollments was prioritized over keeping a school community intact.

This will rip our children away from the teachers, school community and other Muraco families who have been our “village” in raising our families. Teachers and specialists who have known our children for years will be ripped away from them. Balancing numbers may be an important factor, but should not be the only factor.

  • Was the geographic information system (GIS) your primary source of technical guidance? The GIS mapping system is far from accurate and does NOT take into account the safety of children’s access to schools and the nuances of walking routes that families actually use. For example, our neighborhood children walk on Swanton, then make a quick left turn to Florence. This takes them directly to the side entrance of Muraco on Irving St which is 0.4 miles. We never take the circuitous route through Washington and Bates Road. GIS does NOT take into account the unwalkable distance and safety hazards from our neighborhood to Lynch.
  • What about the rights and well-being of the children currently in their home schools? After all, last year a number of families from Lynch were allowed to move schools because of Lynch’s record of underperformance. Lynch is a good school community, but if accommodations of that nature were made for those families, what about the rights of our children who are currently in these home schools? Do their well-beings not matter? Why are our children forced to make all the sacrifices?
  • Why are neighborhoods closer to Lynch (who vote at Lynch as well) and currently drive to Muraco not affected, yet families who walk to Muraco every day (and vote at Muraco) have been redistricted arbitrarily? We are not trying to present an either/or argument since we care about those neighborhoods as well.

However, this clearly indicates that Walkability and safety WERE NOT determining factors in this case.

  • IMPARTIALITY: Do any members of the RAC live in an area that was under consideration for potential redistricting? Was that area left untouched? Were they truly impartial? We did not volunteer ourselves for selection in the RAC to ensure integrity and impartiality in the process. Can you honestly confirm that for every member of the RAC?
  • At the May 22 School Committee meeting, it was stated that “neighborhood stability was defined differently.” What definition was applied in the case of our neighborhood? It has always been a part of Muraco for generations. If members of either the RAC or the School Committee do not reside in our neighborhood nor are familiar with its residents, it is your responsibility to truly listen to the concerns of the diverse families who reside here. We have always defined ourselves as Muraco walking families.

Please note below, our original comments to the RAC in its entirety. We urge you to read it, if you have not done so already. We urge you to read or re-read the comments from our neighbors and the extensive petition signed by numerous neighbors and residents who also affirm the importance of walkability and safety. For transparency and accountability, the entire body of letters and petitions that were made prior to the May 22 School Committee meeting should be made public.

It is not too late. We urge you to reconsider removing our neighborhood from the Muraco Community. We urge you to hear us.

Sue and Stephen Kim

Julia (McCall), Noah (Muraco)

Sent by Sue & Stephen Kim to the RAC on April 12, 2012

Dear Redistricting Advisory Committee,

Thank you for all your hard work and your openness to hearing feedback from the community. Having been involved in the Winchester school community for many years as a parent volunteer on a number of committees, I truly appreciate your effort and countless hours of service. You’ve embarked upon a very difficult task.

Friends, I am writing to you today from two perspectives: as a neighborhood parent and as a member of the broader Winchester school community. I am a resident of Cedar Street (Cedar, Tremont, Winter, Summer neighborhood off Swanton) and am writing to express my support for maintaining our walkers along safe routes to neighborhood

schools (Model J). For generations, our small neighborhood has always been a walking neighborhood to Muraco School. Some parents in our neighborhood were Muraco students themselves and have been committed to the concerns that are often specific to our neighborhood and Muraco community.

The primary commitment in our neighborhood has always been to maintain a safe walking school community. In fact a grandmother in our neighborhood used to be the crossing guard on Swanton Street for years to ensure our children’s safety to and from Muraco. That is how committed this neighborhood has been to seeing our children safely to and from school as well as maintaining strong neighborhood ties of support. Our children also consider themselves friends and neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Muraco who lived on Irving Street until recently (until Mr. Muraco’s passing and Mrs. Muraco’s failing health). My own children have walked to the Muraco’s home to deliver flowers, sweets and smiles as they are honorary grandparents of the whole neighborhood community. This is an enormous part of our neighborhood identity- the school, the families, the people.

Our children have a “walking school bus” to and from Muraco, with only Swanton Street to cross. Walking has always been encouraged by the district, health professionals, administrators, faculty and parents for reasons of health, as well as alleviating the need for more cars on the streets. Children in our community are close to friends and neighbors from Spruce, Florence, Harvard and Irving Streets as they look out for one another. Senior citizens like Nana Kathy off Florence Street watch out for my children and countless others. Even local businesses like Mamadou’s Bakery know our children by name. They often observe siblings from Muraco and McCall meet on their steps.

My daughter Julia walked from Muraco with neighborhood children for years. Now our 2nd grader, Noah, walks from school and meets Julia at Mamadou’s as she and other older siblings return from McCall. This is a common meeting spot as older siblings collect younger siblings and walk safely home together after thanking the crossing guard.

I recently returned to work full time after years of being home and serving our school community. At present, I do not have a sitter or nanny in place. My children walk home together to waiting grandparents. If this walking option is taken away, it will require the hiring of additional care providers and drivers. This similar situation would apply to other children in our Cedar-Tremont-Winter-Summer-Swanton Street neighborhood. This concern is not exclusive to our neighborhood. It would be likewise in all the school communities. These additional costs may be prohibitive to some families in our Winchester community and calls to mind the importance of supporting the socio- economic diversity in our community. This financial impact must be taken into consideration.

A redistrict to Lynch (as proposed by models K & F) would eliminate our neighborhood children from sidewalks completely. We would no longer be a walkable neighborhood to all our schools (Muraco, McCall and the High School). It alters the very fabric of our

neighborhood. I urge the committee to refrain from drawing lines without having walked in our children’s shoes both literally and figuratively.

I support Model J in the Redistricting Proposal, as it is based upon a walking radius from school of under .5 miles. In this model, my neighborhood remains at Muraco, as it has for decades. I urge you to keep neighborhood schools in place with Model J or some form of “walking” schools, to the best of your ability. I urge you to keep our neighborhood in Muraco.

I would also like to write to you as a member of the broader Winchester community, I completely understand the strain on our schools with regard to over-crowding. Over the years, I spent significant time and care in support of passing the Vinson-Owen Override as a member of Town Meeting, Co-President of Muraco Elementary School Parents Association (MESPA), Co-Chair of the Parents’ Inter-School Council. In those roles, I strove to find positive solutions to over-crowding and other district-wide concerns with collaboration and mutual respect. In these roles, I observed something vital about this wonderful town: At the heart of our community is the willingness of fellow parents and friends to support each other across school communities. Parents are better equipped to be supportive across schools, knowing that residents of specific school neighborhoods understand the characteristics and needs of their particular school community, far better than someone across town. Parents who are invested in their neighborhood schools and care deeply for their school’s revitalization or needs can also articulate their concerns effectively to the broader Winchester and Massachusetts community. As a result, I have observed passionate, yet fruitful dialogue in which an Ambrose parent leader spoke up in support of technological equity in Muraco and Lynch, for example. I have seen Lincoln parents defend their Lynch friends as they spoke passionately in defense of their wonderful school community when others unfairly judged Lynch’s performance. This camaraderie is priceless- thanks to those who were invested and able to articulate their neighborhood school’s concerns. Do not change this. It works.

Yes, we are one Winchester, despite struggles. Yes, we want equity. Yes, we want to solve difficult problems. But I urge you to consider-- NOT at the expense of something that already works so beautifully – our neighborhoods. Cutting our Cedar-Tremont- Winter-Summer-Swanton Street neighborhood off from the Muraco community, eliminating natural and daily community-building that occurs as neighborhood children walk to and from school through Swanton, Florence, Harvard, and Irving St, and severing children from the safe and healthy environment of our “walking school bus” would be deeply disruptive to the fabric of our neighborhood that has been a proud member of Francis J. “Butch” Muraco School community for generations-- and is still thriving with the current generation of children and families.

Thank you so much for your receptiveness and willingness to hear our feedback. My husband and I are truly grateful for your consideration and all your hard work.

Regards,

Sue & Steve Kim

Julia – McCall, Age 12 Noah – Muraco, Age 8

Winchester Mom May 28, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Well said! We completely agree with you.
Dennis France May 29, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Outraged is an understatement. The advisory committee and school board and others have and will continue to hear from the parents of the kids impacted by this ill-conceived proposal which was clearly not subjected to thorough analysis on negative impact on safety, distance, and more importantly, the "optics" that the least privileged section of Winchester is inordinately being targeted to send their kids to the only poorly rated elementary school in town. Even if this socioeconomic bias was not conscious, it is potentially very embarrassing for Winchester. Let's all take a step back and do this right.
Kim May 29, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Same thing happened to us years ago when we were redistricted from Lincoln to Ambrose ... We, as individual families, took the financial and emotional hit...., hiring extra caregivers, paying for the bus , not having a safe reasonable walk to school anymore, being taken from the closer neighborhood school that we knew and loved. It's hard. You will come to love your new school too.
Sally Ann H McCarthy May 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM
The footprint and cohesiveness of this neighborhood will be disrupted. It has been split into 2 school districts, Lincoln and Muroco for a very long time. Where is the sense in moving this neighborhood to a school over 1.5 miles away when two other schools are within a quarter mile? The new walk will not be safe and will increase pedestrian accidents, especially in the snow. Families who purchased homes in this area did so in large part for the walkability-to-everything factor. Your decision has significant impact on residents who choose walking over driving. It is clear that the negative impacts of this proposed redistricting would far outweigh any slight benefit to the school district. We appreciate all the hard work the Advisory Committee has done. We ask you to please reconsider your redistricting plan and give neighborhood cohesiveness, a safe, manageable walk to school and pedestrian lifestyles increased priority in your decision process.
Jane May 29, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I am glad that you and your family adjust well when redistriction happened to you. But your successful experience may not be re-produced to other families affected by this proposal. Thank you for saying that "it's hard". I live in Spruce-Lincoln community. I am strongly against the proposal of moving my child from a school of 10(Lincoln) to a school of 8(Lynch) and with all other kinds of potential issues. So how about giving 0 disruption to us and let go of the families who WANT to transfer to another school. As far as I know, the way some other town handles increasing number of kids is to let them choose any school in the town that have the space. Based on your information, there was a redistriction happened to you years ago, so this is the second time of redistriction in recent years. Are we going to have 3rd, 4th,.... Believe me, there is no valid model to project exact estimation of future number of kids due to complicated economic and housing market changes. Give us 0 disruption and over the time, a more natural balance school size will be established.
Katherine Waters-Clark May 29, 2012 at 04:29 PM
This proposed Redistricing Plan, if passed, will drastically change the culture, cohesiveness, and desirability of our little in-town neighborhood. One of the great appeals for new buyers in this neighborhood is the "walk to school" feature, which this plan threatens to erase. One neighbor recently said, "Gee, that's why we bought on this street." Gone will be the lovely neighborhood ritual of parents and backpacked kids walking down Washington Street for morning drop off or afternoon pickup, on their way to, or coming from, the train to work. I made some of my best Winchester friends while picking up my kids from Lincoln, staying a few extra moments to play, and bonding with other parents. When our girls were little, we used to walk to the corner of Nelson, pick up our friends, and continue the half-mile down the road to school! No car needed! No bus needed! So eco-friendly! So "neighborhood-y!" While I'm sure that Lynch is a truly wonderful school (and I have many good friends whose children have loved it) it's over 1.5 miles from our home, while Lincoln and Muraco are a mere .5 miles. It's too far to walk, it crosses a few busy streets, and so it means buses (with earlier pickup/dropoff times), more fuel, more expense to families. I hope the Town reconsiders! Katherine Waters-Clark, Realtor and 14-year Oak Street resident
Mike May 29, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Kim, I am glad you were able to adjust. However, i would assume you live between Ambrose and Lincoln. We live between Lincoln and Muraco and are being sent to Lynch. Also, was that when Ambrose was a brand new state of the art school. Did it have any issues with its MCAS scores. I think an independent review of the RAC committee work is warranted. If an independent body comes to the same conclusion that we should all work together to make it happen. There are too many questions here. There is no cost benefit analysis done for the different options. If there has already been a recent redistricting than something has to be done to keep this from being a repetitive process. Lets think before we rip another group of families out of their neighborhoods.
Thomas Cafarella May 29, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Winchester = Diversity ? Equality ? I have heard the saying that THEY live on the other side of the tracks but never believed this discrimination truly existed. But, I was brought up in this town and should have known it does. I just have to now shield this fact from my children so they do not feel like this is their fault or something is wrong with them. I strongly believe due to it’s socio-economic classification discrimination this new plan should be revised. The school committee is having an “open” forum next week on the topic but we cannot address our concerns, they do not want to hear them. Shouldn’t this “open” forum have been held before any final decision? (See last week’s Winchester star, the school committee is happy to have this behind them). “Behind them” does that statement send a message to the town that it is an open forum for discussion? I recently heard a comment from a school committee member who said “what do you want us to do, have a lottery”. My thoughts to that would be, as long as it’s fair, why not. After all, my tax dollars are paying to fund the new school in town. Why should it only be for the wealthy kids, I mean children in the proper districts. I mean, you know what I mean. Right.? I am proud to live in Winchester, where fair is common sense. Well ok, maybe fair is who has more dollars and cents. But fair is fair, what’s the difference.Right? Thomas Cafarella
Mayberry Mom May 29, 2012 at 06:27 PM
With regard to the "footprint and cohesiveness being disrupted" and becoming a '2 school neighborhood' I can relate wholeheartedly. With this new plan, our neighborhood will go from a 2 school neighborhood to a THREE SCHOOL NEIGHBORHOOD and I find this absolutely nonsensical. I have voiced my concerns previously to the school committee etc. and I'm appalled at this plan. I had suggested keeping our neighborhood in tact and in one school and I was told it was about the numbers, not the neighborhoods. I don't believe the numbers they are using to be accurate and while I am relieved to remain at Lynch I think our incoming students are far greater in number than they are projecting with this plan which will only further stress our school. They are splitting our neighborhood into cross sections now and three houses on a corner will attend three different schools! Seems like someone really dropped the ball when they decided to redistrict based solely on numbers. Should be NEIGHBORHOODS not NUMBERS !
Jane May 29, 2012 at 07:25 PM
We all understand that redistricting is a very difficult and emotionally charged task. But isn't it more important to make right decisions because it is difficult. Parents concern about different things. That is my understanding of diversity. For my family and for the parents that I know in my neighborhood, a standardized test meant a lot. I am pretty sure for early this year, the parents who chose to opt-out their children from Lynch and went through all those trouble to enroll their kids to other school thinks the same way as I do.
Rui May 29, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Dear Winchester, may I ask the distance of your current house to Lynch Elementry? I am sure it will not be more than 1.6miles as for my house to Lynch plus Swanton ST, Main St and the railway located in between!!!
Sally Ann H McCarthy May 29, 2012 at 08:38 PM
The logic behind redistricting this neighborhood is faulty! How can anyone honestly say it's a good decision to send this small group to a school over one and half miles away when two other elementary schools are within 0.5 miles or less. It has nothing to do with the school being Lynch. Lynch could be #1 in the State and I'd still be fighting against this move. I can definitely say that people that purchase in this neighborhood are looking for an urban area to reside, with safe short walkability to everything. We don't depend on our cars. I didn't have a car until my daughter was 4 years old. Walking to Lynch from this neighborhood is absolutely not a safe or short journey. My address has always been Lincoln, probably for over 80+ years. In fact, the old Lincoln School used to sit directly behind my house before it became the Adult only Housing Authority. Aren't we teaching our kids to care for our planet? Walking vs. Driving Is a No-Brainer!
Sally Ann H McCarthy May 29, 2012 at 10:17 PM
The logic behind redistricting this neighborhood is faulty! How can anyone honestly say it's a good decision to send this small group to a school over one and half miles away when two other elementary schools are within 0.5 miles or less. It has nothing to do with the school being Lynch. Lynch could be #1 in the State and I'd still be fighting against this move. I can definitely say that people that purchase in this neighborhood are looking for an urban area to reside, with safe short walkability to everything. We don't depend on our cars. I didn't have a car until my daughter was 4 years old. Walking to Lynch from this neighborhood is absolutely not a safe or short journey. My address has always been Lincoln, probably for over 80+ years. In fact, the old Lincoln School used to sit directly behind my house before it became the Adult only Housing Authority. Aren't we teaching our kids to care for our planet? Walking vs. Driving Is a No-Brainer!
DonnaD May 30, 2012 at 12:26 AM
How is Lynch going to be improved to accept this new influx of students? Is the class size going to be increased in a school that is already stressed and should have SMALLER class sizes? Are the administrative offices going to be moved to allow the addition additional classrooms? Is the pre-school program going to be moved to space that is more suitable to that age group, also freeing up space? How about the various special education programs--are the students currently in those programs going to return to their neighborhood schools to be with their siblings and neighbors? Is the physical plant going to be improved to be more suitable for elementary students? These and other issues need to be addressed before Lynch receives transferred students. And I do find it interesting that the two Title I schools in town are involved in this debate.
DonnaD May 30, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I have just (belatedly) read the report. Some statements leap out at me and make me question the process: "...the RAC was not charged by the Superintendent to assess how safe an access route was for a family walking to school." "The five elementary schools are perceived by some as not offering a comparably excellent program. While the RAC recognizes the perceived challenges this past year at several schools, it was not the Committee’s charge to assess the quality of the programs." "Today Winchester provides a district-wide k-5 program in five buildings. Calling our current model a “neighborhood” model is, to a large degree, inaccurate." I think the comments above prove that statement wrong. "Kindergarteners will be starting a new school regardless, and were, therefore, not considered as being impacted by a change of schools." This is only true if they do not have older siblings. "it is not in the School Committee or Superintendent’s control or budget to improve sidewalks or hire crossing guards...." It certainly seems like there are a number of significant issues which were not 'the Committee's charge." The Superintendent is soliciting public input but only under controlled and limited circumstances. Given that, does this report really offer the best solution to Winchester's problems?
outsidein May 30, 2012 at 01:33 AM
How offensive to question the integrity of the committee who dedicated their time and effort to help ease the burden on our schools with soaring enrollments. You made some points about safety, etc, but you lost me with your unsubstantiated question about their integrity. Shame on you.
Kathleen Costello May 30, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Muraco does not receive title one funding.
dana May 30, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Just wanted to encourage everyone with feedback to make sure they submit them to the School Committee via the redistricting website if you haven't already done so. I am not convinced that the plan alleviates the space and class size issues at Muraco and Lincoln. I think if the SC will agree to delay approval of a plan, we need a fresh set of eyes to look at this and come up with something that will be sustainable for years to come. We came together as a town to vote for and pay for a new VO based on a promise that all schools would be granted adequate space and equitable class sizes. I don't believe this plan meets that promise and while another plan may require more movement of lines around town and more families impacted, at least it will accomplishes the goal. The current plan minimizes the # families moving but those impacted have been hit hard based on the notes above. I live on the crazy line in the Flats that went from two to three schools. I had hoped the plan would reunite the neighborhood or at least leave it in two schools. Now my home sits on the intersection of three schools, how sad for our children and future children. Moving schools would be much easier to deal with if I didn't feel like a couple of streets had been plucked out of an already divided neighborhood. I think the SC has done a great job fighting for our schools this year and I hope they are able to buy more time to ensure redistricting meets the original objective.
outsidein May 30, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I really struggle to understand how attending different elementary schools in the same neighborhood "divides" a neighborhood. Don't people get out of their houses and meet their neighbors? Why can your children only be friends with children in the same elementary school? None of the children in our neighborhood attend the same school and our kids play with all of them. Besides, everyone ends up in the same junior high school anyway. Independent consultant - great idea (not). Let's see where that one will lead. You may (or may) not get redistricted. But everyone else that will get redistricted will complain that an "outside" consultant can't possibly understand the nuances of "our Town" and therefore the "outside" consultant plan is "not fair or valid". The only way everyone would be happy is if no-one gets redistricted.
Mayberry Mom May 30, 2012 at 03:38 PM
outside in-wondering if you have elementary aged children? seems like if you did you may have a better understanding of how different schools from street to street within a neighborhood does divide neighbors. Especially in our town where it is quite obvious that there is not parity among the 5 elementary schools curriculum and or extracurricular activities. Doesn't matter if walking or riding school bus or carpooling-if my first grader attends Lynch and my next door neighbor attends VO they will have different schedules, activities, friends and experiences. They will support different causes and engage in completely different school based activities. Yes, people do "get out of their houses and meet their neighbors" but many of us work full time etc. and are not lolling about the neighborhood after school. We are not discounting children can be friends with only those in their schools, it is more a quality of community and a large part of why families buy homes in neighborhoods. Yes, everyone ends up at McCall and how nice to have one middle school for all of our children but lets not skip the elementary experience and just look towards 6th grade as the end all. Our kids establish relationships and roots within their neighborhoods and elementary education is a a large part of this.
outsidein May 30, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Hi Kara. To answer your question - yes I do have elementary school children. I work as well, and certainly don't spend my time "lolling around", as you put it. But on weekends my kids are involved in all kinds of activities, not just VO events. And evenings when I get home from work, my kids will ride bikes, etc. My point is that the school is a focal point for activities, but certainly not the only one. Its good to have different experiences, with different kids and not limit your kids experience to just their school. Look at it this way, if your neighbor is at VO and your children are at Lynch, you've just expanded the pool of children they will know and greatly added to the variety and richness of their elementary age experience!
Mayberry Mom May 30, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Yes, we too are involved in all kinds of town wide sports, clubs and arts etc. so I get your 'expanding' point but for me and my family I want a true neighborhood school experience for my children and I was simply expanding on someone's prior post here. Clearly we don't agree but I respect your opinion and I venture to guess that your street is not being divvied up 3 ways.
Just Saying May 30, 2012 at 08:09 PM
If I recall correctly, the people who wrote this letter were also among those imploring us to pass an override 18 months ago so that we could build the new V-O. You should have thought then, or asked the School Committee to think then, about the dominoes you were lining up.
Donna DePriest May 30, 2012 at 11:39 PM
FYI.....If anyone is wondering, DonnaD is NOT Donna DePriest
Stephen DeConto May 31, 2012 at 02:22 PM
While the goal is to relieve overcrowding and reclaim specialist space that has been lost in our schools, the solution to this town wide problem should not be put on the backs of families who live within a neighborhood they chose to buy their homes because of what the neighborhood offered and so they could enjoy an safe and easy walk to school. This plan may be comfortable for the majority of families in town, but that may simply be because it doesn't impact in any way on their lives, the safety and wellbeing of their children, the cohesiveness of their neighborhood and the value of their homes. Whatever is done to improve ALL of our schools and ALL of our children’s education should be a shared responsibility and much more equitable. This plan also lacks the socio-economic diversity that all the schools and this town needs if we are going to be a truly united community moving forward. How many examples do we have in Winchester of what were thought to be good decisions or the "best " plans at the time that now, with the passage of time are seen to be seriously flawed. Let us be smarter than this and work out a plan that we can live with now and look back at in the future and be proud of. Stephen DeConto Blossom Hill Road
HML52 May 31, 2012 at 02:41 PM
For Ambrose families not affected by the proposed May 22 plan: if you would choose to attend V-O if given an opportunity, please let the School Committee know before June 4 by sending a note via the RAC website http://www.winchesterredistricting.com/. It might help to open up enrollment elsewhere for choice.
Jane May 31, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Agree.

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