Today is the last day that the school committee is accepting public comment regarding redistricting as they prepare to make their decision next week. By all means, write and speak out for the plan which you believe to be best for the town, as we certainly have.
Come tomorrow, however, the time for division is over. Each plan has merits and each plan will leave some neighbors in town unhappy. No doubt can remain, however, that whichever plan is chosen, our children will continue receive an outstanding education.
The school committee, the superintendent, the RAC, and every member of the community who spoke or wrote should be commended for doing their part to improve our great schools. We have witnessed a tremendous outpouring of energy for the sake of our children's education. We need to now channel that energy into enacting the plan that is chosen by the school committee and furthering the education of our children.
For the sake of our children, we would ask everyone to outwardly support whatever plan is approved. Our children will need to hear with a common voice that the plan selected is the best for all, even if some of us have reservations.
We have heard numerous times that children are resilient. Their resilience comes from our support, the support that we are all so fortunate to have provided in our five wonderful elementary schools as well as at home.
They are also, however, impressionable. We must be mindful of every conversation they listen to, even when we aren't having the conversation with them. If we tell them that the changes to come are positive and in their best interests, they will see it that way. They will face whatever challenges and new adventures come their way knowing their family and community is at their side.
And if we tell them that the change is negative and will hurt them, they will begrudgingly move forward feeling betrayed, dejected, and alone. We must not err on this or the results will indeed be unfortunate.
This debate has brought many neighborhoods together in the pursuit of common goals. Sadly, however, it has also brought discord between neighborhoods.
Come tomorrow, we should remember that we are a town of neighbors, not divided by map lines, and that all of our children, wherever they may live in town, already play with kids from all over the town be it on the baseball team or in the ballet studio, at the art bench or in the language class.
We are one town, not a collection of five school districts. And in only a few short years, our kids will all be together at McCall and the differences between school districts will seem distant and unimportant.
We pledge to support whatever plan is adopted. We urge everyone in town to do the same.
-- Brian Vernaglia, Shannon Scott-Vernaglia
Sargent Road, Winchester