Public Comment

Many people have written letters or comments to the School Committee, available by Public Records Act requests. These letter comments were largely opposed to reconfiguration or the large school.

Laura Quilter, a Wildwood parent, organized a postcard mailing to elicit feedback more broadly, and again, these showed that the school communities were generally opposed to reconfiguration and large schools.

We will make these materials available as soon as we can, but there have been so many, we have not been able to keep up!

Many people have also made verbal comments at public meetings, rather than sending in written comments.  These comments can be viewed on the PUBLIC FORUMS page.  Numerous other community members have written op-eds, which are viewable at the OP-EDS page.

Commenter Date Comment Summary
Russ Vernon-Jones Jan. 30, 2016 Public statement at Special Town Meeting Voting no.
Numerous members of Town Meeting Aug. 15, 2016 Letter to Select Board, School Committee, and School Building Committee Urging 18-month delay in the proposed reconfiguration in light of the departure of Superintendent Maria Geryk.
Numerous members of Town Meeting Aug. 15, 2016 Letter to Select Board, School Committee, and School Building Committee Urging 18-month delay in the proposed reconfiguration in light of the departure of Superintendent Maria Geryk.
Marla Goldberg-Jamate Aug. 9, 2016 Letter to School Committee, School Building Committee, & Select Board Given the immediate departure of the Superintendent, and the deep unpopularity of this project, the project should be delayed 18 months to allow a new Superintendent to come in and reassess the issue.
Marla Goldberg-Jamate June 21, 2016 Letter urging School Committee to reconsider the reconfiguration vote. We cannot afford this plan, which is unpopular, will disrupt the thriving community at Crocker Farm, and will pose hardships in transportation.
Jacob Mayfield May 16, 2016 Letter to MSBA This process has had enormous problems, and is deeply unpopular.
Ariella Schwell, Laura Quilter, Maria Kopicki Feb. 15, 2016 Letter to the MSBA, with Survey Results.

 The MSBA guidelines require community support; we submitted the surveys that show that in fact that the reconfiguration is deeply unpopular.
 Maria Kopicki  Feb. 2, 2016  Statement to School Building Committee.  The MSBA has raised real concerns about the School’s proposal (the “PDP”), and the School Building Committee should send the survey results to the MSBA. 
 Eve Vogel  Feb. 2, 2016  Letter to School Building Committee, Feb. 2, 2016 Proposing a different arrangement that would allow the District to keep K-6 and smaller schools than proposed. 
 Russ Vernon-Jones  Jan. 19, 2016 Russ Vernon-Junes, Letter to School Committee Equity: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

(From the former principal at Fort River)

 Janet McGowan Jan. 18, 2016  Janet McGowan,
Letter to School Committee
Please delay the decision and allow the Town to meaningful consider alternatives, such as dual renovation, expanded preschool, or use of the Middle School. Let’s have real community process instead of pasting it in at the end.
Mary Crotty Sharma (teacher and parent) Jan. 15, 2016 Mary Crotty Sharma, Letter to School Committee, Jan. 15, 2016. (HTML, PDF) A guidance counselor from a divided grade system notes that reconfiguration is the least popular and most expensive option, and most importantly, will exacerbate problems with inequity.
 Eve Vogel Jan. 14, 2016  Eve Vogel, Letter to School Committee & Administration, Jan. 14, 2016 Includes her 10-page “Points Forgotten or Too Narrowly Addressed” report, with citations to the relevant research.  Many important issues and concerns have been left out of discussion, including issues of equity and the way schools play a central role in the neighborhoods and community of the town as a whole; the consolidation plan is likely to have many negative repercussions for kids, teachers, families, and the Town.
Julie HawkOwl  Nov. 3, 2015   Julie HawkOwl, Letter to School Committee, Nov. 3, 2015  Notes that the cost/benefit is not there for reconfiguration and large schools, and urges dual renovation of both schools.
 Eve Vogel  Nov. 2, 2015 Eve Vogel, Letter to School Committee, Nov. 2  Small schools and K-6 are both at risk, but should be preserved.  Thorough review of the possible building configuration options. Priority is to protect wonderful neighborhood K-6 schools; need to open the box of building options to meet this.
 Emily Boutilier Oct. 28, 2015  Emily Boutilier, Letter to School Committee, Oct. 28 Expresses concerns about educational and long-term financial aspects of the reconfiguration and large school proposal.
 Kurt Wise  Oct. 25, 2015  Kurt Wise, Letter to School Committee, Oct. 25 A radical proposal like reconfiguration needs a compelling case, but in fact the reconfiguration proposal has significant pedagogical and cost problems, and the public process has been deeply flawed.
Laura Quilter & Michele Markstein Oct. 19, 2015  Laura Quilter & Michele Markstein, Letter to School Committee, Oct. 19 Letter and ten-page report arguing that the Administration had not adequately justified reconfiguration; pointing that there were many unanswered questions, including renovation costs; and advocating a community and teacher survey.
Maria Kopicki  Oct. 18, 2015  Maria Kopicki, Letter to School Committee, Oct. 18 (HTML, PDF)
 Ariel Templeton  Oct. 6, 2015  Ariel Templeton,
Letter to School Committee, Oct. 6
 I and other parents are now considering other school options because reconfiguration is so unappealing. 
 Lisa Raine  Oct. 5, 2015   Lisa Raine, Letter to School Committee, Oct. 5
Letter from 15 Concerned Parents  Oct. 16, 2015  Parent Group, Letter from Parents at PGO Discussion Meeting 10/13 (sent Oct. 16) In October, concerned about the lack of parent awareness of the District’s proposals, the PGOs held an open meeting for parents to discuss the (then likely) proposal for reconfiguration and a megaschool. That meeting resulted in a lengthy letter listing many unanswered questions. A number of those parents went on to develop “SASS” and this website.