Editor of the Reformer: Regarding the School District Withdrawals Vote on the town ballots, I would like to wait a few more years to see how this works out before we disrupt everything again and start over.
The COVID pandemic makes it hard to compare anything, and so far the current board has been open, inclusive, effective, and progressive. As membership changes over time, the liabilities of a large board not closely tied to the local communities might be more clearly revealed.
The current WSESD board has pushed equity and anti-racism to the top of the list of priorities (after the obvious imperative of keeping everyone safe), and despite the pandemic, real changes are happening. There are Teacher Leaders in every school supporting awareness and anti-racism. There are councils in every school that include teachers, parents, community members, the principal and a board member, to provide an opportunity for all voices to be heard.
On the other hand, a big institution is more susceptible to falling into the administrative state with the school board becoming a rubber stamp. So I would like to see if the institutions this board created can be effective over time before we change again.
The board also created a separate Communications Council organized to get information out to voters. We put together informational flyers on this issue that can be found at https://sites.google.com/wsesu.org/wsesdboard/information?authuser=0
Brattleboro, Feb. 17
David Schoales is chairperson of the Windham Southeast Education District board. His opinions are his own.