Based on significant public comment and the parent and teacher surveys by the School Committee, public opinion is clear and strongly in favor of small K-6 schools.
Parent and teacher survey by School Committee (Jan. 2016)
After considerable pressure, the School Committee finally in January agreed to do a survey of parents/guardians and of teachers. The results of the parent and teacher surveys were released at a January 13, 2016, School Committee meeting. In contrast to the School Committee, parents and teachers strongly favor protecting K-6 schools.
You can see the consultants’ summary of the results here: https://wildwoodpgo.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/2015jan-schoolsurvey-results.pdf. For over-all summaries see pp. 8 and 24. Option A and B would both maintain three K-6 schools, Option A by keeping the three current campuses, and Option B by building a larger double-size school with two distinct K-6 wings. Parent and teacher comments are also very informative and can be found here:
- Summary of Results: https://wildwoodpgo.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/2015jan-schoolsurvey-results.pdf
- Parent Comments: https://wildwoodpgo.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/2015jan-schoolsurvey-parentcomments.pdf
- Teacher Comments: https://wildwoodpgo.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/2015jan-schoolsurvey-teachercomments.pdf
For a quick summary of comments, see:
- summary of survey, submitted to MSBA (Feb 2016)
- summary / excerpts from parent comments (May 2016)
- summary / excerpts from teacher comments (May 2016)
Public Comments (Sept. 2015 – present)
Parents and teachers have submitted numerous public comments online, again overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining a K-6 model. We are developing an index to the many comments made in letters to the editor, written public comments, and public comments at public meetings; that will be available at “Index to Public Comments“.
Until the index is complete, please see:
- Written public comment available https://saveamherstssmallschools.wordpress.com/public-comment/ (a small set of full-length letters and analyses) and https://wildwoodpgo.com/feedback-on-grade-reconfiguration/ (a much larger set of postcards, online comments, and many other comments).
- Links to public forums, with video. Unfortunately, the School Building Committee meetings are not videotaped and no minutes are available.
- Links to published op-eds.
- Links to the parent and teacher comments in the January survey. There are many detailed and thoughtful comments in these anonymous surveys.
- “Index to Public Comments” (under construction)