To the editor: The article you published on July 14 ("Windham Elementary closure up for vote"), which included people criticizing the Windham Elementary School program, is unbalanced. We hope that a follow-up article could include views from principal/teacher Mickey Parker-Jennings and administrator/teaching Assistant Sara Wunderle, as well as those of us who oppose closing this wonderful little school.
WINDHAM — Voters will decide the fate of Windham Elementary School after parents petitioned …
We have decades of experience as educators, working with youth from kindergarten through high school in four states, including Vermont. We have been very involved at Windham Elementary School, where our granddaughter has thrived the past three years. We have accompanied the students on field trips, attended in-school potlucks and programs, and have observed and met with school staff dozens of times. We do not know of a better learning environment for elementary children than WES. Small classes and multi-age classrooms can be huge assets to learning, and WES is doing a fantastic job at educating and nurturing kids with Mr. Parker-Jennings and Ms. Wunderle’s personal and professional expertise.
This past year WES met four days each week (five per week after April break) offering a range of experiences including art, music, and weekly nature outings, all during the pandemic. Additionally, the students created and performed a musical with a Broadway artist. We see happy children engaged compellingly in all academic areas, with many field trips and hands-on projects, especially in science. Their partnership with neighbors at the Meadows Bee Farm, while modified during the pandemic, has been a weekly service and learning adventure at the farm. There were also frequent visits to the Grafton Nature Museum during our granddaughter’s first two years. Pre-pandemic, regular after-school care was available as well as ukulele instruction and a walking program. Singing at the Valley Cares nursing home was another tradition that we hope to see reemerge.
We feel incredibly fortunate that our granddaughter has had the opportunity to grow at Windham Elementary. She is receiving an excellent education there with personal attention, a wide range of experiences, and powerful social nurturing just five minutes from the land that her family has worked for generations. The school serves kids close to their homes; the logistics of travel to other schools could be quite difficult for some families. Next year the school population is growing. Please give your readers the full story of how a small school is excelling in meeting the needs of its children.
Representative Michelle Bos-Lun, Windham-4
Ronald S. Bos-Lun, teacher at The Compass School
Westminster, July 16