Issues and Analyses : Reconfiguration in Amherst

Fact Sheets and Analyses:

Our members have developed some helpful resources to understand the issues, trade-offs and options in the various reconfiguration, rebuild, and renovate plans.

AmherstElementarySchoolBuildingPlan-20160511-handout-ss Amherst Elementary School Building Plan: A Mega-School with Mega Problems (May 11, 2016, 2-pager): A 2-page document explaining some of the key problems with the proposed reconfiguration and mega-school.  (PDF and HTML)
“The Continuing Advantages of Small Neighborhood K-6 Schools: Points Forgotten or Addressed Too Narrowly in the Deliberation over the Future of Amherst’s Elementary Schools” Highlights for School Building Committee.  Eve Vogel.  7-page overview.  (PDF)
Vogel-TransportationEquity-ss (“Transportation and Equity” fact sheet)
“Neighborhood K-6 schools vs. Reconfiguration: Implications for the opportunity to support and foster carless transportation for families and kids”.
  Eve Vogel.   Includes “Vision for Transportation in Amherst “, Amherst Public Transportation, Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, April 2015.  (PDF)
PointsForgetten-1-pager-ss “Points Forgotten or Addressed Too Narrowly in the Deliberation Over the Future of Amherst’s Elementary Schools” / Eve Vogel, Jan. 13, 2016 – 1 page version (PDF)
PointsForgotten-LongVer-ss “Points Forgotten or Addressed Too Narrowly in the Deliberation Over the Future of Amherst’s Elementary Schools” / Eve Vogel, Jan. 13, 2016 – longer version (PDF)
TradeOffTablePublic-ss “Trade-Offs in Amherst School Reorganization” / Eve Vogel, Jan. 6, 2016 (PDF)
KopickiOptionsChart-p1-ss “Amherst Elementary School Options : Comparative Chart” / Maria Kopicki, Jan. 3, 2016 (PDF)
Broudy-BPP-ss “Wildwood School Building Project Primer for Parents” / Oliver Broudy, Oct. 2015 (PDF)
Publius-SS Publius, “The South Pleasant Street Pothole Repair Project”, Oct. 2015 (PDF and HTML) – A satirical essay expressing how shocked and surprised people were at the “bait and switch” of having the Wildwood School Building project suddenly turn into a “reconfigure the District” project.
QuilterMarkstein-ss “Comments on the Existing Proposal by Amherst Regional Public Schools District to Reconfigure Grades”, Laura Quilter Oct. 18, 2015 (PDF). 10-page analysis plus cover letter from Michele Markstein & Laura Quilter, noting that Reconfiguration is not justified, and urging a survey and more information about costs of renovating both Fort River and Wildwood.


Helpful References

  • Who’s Who – Confused between the PSR and the PDP, and the MSBA or the SBC?  We’ll tell you who’s who here.
  • Timeline – When did this process get started?  When would it end?  What are the deadlines?
  • Community Process – What has the outreach really looked like, during the “30-month Feasibility Study”? (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
  • Money – How much will this cost?  (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
  • Article 38 – What is Article 38, and how can I find out about it?  (It’s an “Article” in Town Meeting, Spring 2016, to generate complete project costs for the reconfiguration, and a comparative breakdown of costs of needed renovations.)
  • Archive of Official Documents – Where can I read the major documents for myself?
  • Media & Press – Reporting on the project.
  • Public Comment – Where can I read and listen to the comments of other parents, teachers, and community members?
    • What did people say on the January 2016 survey? (hint: They didn’t like the proposed reconfiguration.)
  • Research – Relevant research about small schools, grade configuration and transitions, neighborhood schools, etc.