To the editor: Most people in our community know where I stand where the Windham Elementary School is concerned ("Windham Elementary closure up for vote," July 15), but I will happily say it again. I am an avid supporter of the school (remaining open) regardless of current numbers. Public education is one of the bedrocks of community social structure. Every person in any community is lifted up by what goes on in a quality school, and WES is a quality school of excellence.
WINDHAM — Voters will decide the fate of Windham Elementary School after parents petitioned …
Some talk about more options and more opportunities. Let’s consider what we have. Our children have wonderful musical opportunities, they have computers, they have the same core course work offered to all the surrounding schools, with extensive additional offerings provided by the staff in the form of nature walks and hikes that supplement significantly. With the Meadows Bee Farm program they have hands-on science and social studies that augment basic offerings. Have you attended a WES recital or concert? From our youngest, they will amaze you with their confidence, their pride and their abilities.
The WES provides a warm, family-like, age-appropriate educational environment where every child’s personality is valued. Most importantly, teaching the joy of learning leads the way, which is the most critical offering for any youngster. All of this in their home community. Why would we want them subjected to long commutes to other towns … is it really for their benefit?
I also believe the recent pressure being put on the Agency of Education regarding the funding formula is finally being heard in Montpelier. Yes, enrollment numbers are down in many places, but I cannot help but wonder how closing WES provides a solution for Windham. If numbers continue to decline, do we end up sending all children in a given region to one school? How much travel are we willing to put on the backs of our children? Perhaps we could consider reducing the number of supervisory unions as a longer term benefit. In the era of Zoom, the adult supervisors seem better equipped to make the adjustment than our children.
Last but not least (by a long stretch) we are coming out of a 15 month pandemic (we hope). Why not take some time to breathe, see and feel what a return to normalcy looks like?
Kathleen Scott, treasurer
Town of Windham
Windham Elementary School