2016-02-12 / Letters

Should district leaders consult with other school systems?

To the editor:

I can’t help but wonder that if the Sea Road School was located in Arundel if it would be closed already, only the operating costs of the school itself would be reported as possible savings, and the Arundel residents would be demonized for wanting to keep the school open. I am not advocating just wondering.

Let’s not forget one of the reasons why Arundel buses children to Saco. The No Child Left Behind Act created a problem for Arundel. Mildred L. Day could not accommodate middle school students under the new regulation. So, the town first looked to partner with both Kennebunk and Dayton to consolidate a Middle School. Neither town was interested in a partnership. Thornton Academy provided Arundel with a solution.

There was no school choice for those students who attended the middle school in Saco. This was a done deal when it became a solution to an unfunded mandate.

I am very disappointed to see what appears to be a concerted effort by RSU leadership to divide folks on this topic instead of bringing them together.

I would have thought that educators would think about the students instead of demonize them for choosing Thornton Academy.

My belief is that pulling students out of a school disrupts academic success. I believe for academic success, a student relies on social networks with peers and relationships with teachers that are built over time.

It is important to remain in one school to maximize these relationships. As long as RSU leadership continues to insinuate that Thornton is chosen because people think it is better than Kennebunk and a private school will also continue to divide everyone.

Folks are just trying to make the right choice given individual circumstance. I had to change schools as a child. It was difficult.

Other school systems with similar situations such as the need to consolidate school choice have at least phased out drastic changes over time. Perhaps we could look to leadership in these towns for some direction.

Linda Dickson

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