Madison Public Schools are Facing a Major Change - so let's take a pause.
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The Madison Board of Education (BOE) is planning to vote on a MAJOR CHANGE for our schools on October 17, 2017. The result of this vote will significantly impact ALL THREE of the town's elementary and BOTH middle schools. We want the Board of Education to hit "PAUSE" before making this critical decision about the future of our schools.
On November 7, there is a town election, and after that vote, there will be new people joining the Board of Education and a change in the chair of the board.
We are asking the BOE to hold off on the vote of whether or not to close Island Avenue School until the town is presented with a fully-vetted and well-communicated plan. We need to know more about how the closing of Island and repair of Jeffery and Ryerson will be completed and financed. The decision to close Island Avenue School directly impacts the families of Brown and Polson as well, and we feel it is only fair that our newly elected members of the Board of Education give this significant decision more consideration.
This petition is NONPARTISAN; we are simply asking the BOE to hold off on the vote. The decision on whether or not to close Island Avenue will have a direct impact on the future of ALL students of Madison's Public Schools (especially Jeffrey, Ryerson, Island Avenue, Brown, and Polson). It is in our town's best interest to come to a joint understanding about the future of our schools.
Many residents have expressed concerns and asked questions about the next steps. Here are just some of the questions:
- After the upcoming election (on November 7), there will be a new Board of Ed chairperson and, likely, new members on the board. Those people will inherit the task of imposing whatever decision is made if the vote is not postponed, whether they agree with it or not. Why put them in that position?
- Parents, residents, teachers, and students are confused about how the closure of Island Avenue will affect the student populations in our town's other schools.
- How much will it cost tax-payers to close down one school and make updates to the other elementary schools?
- How will class sizes be affected by the redistricting process?
- What will happen to the teachers, administrators, and staff at our current schools? How will this impact morale?
- When would the necessary repairs be made to the existing schools? How much will they cost? What is the time-frame for completion of those projects and how will students be accommodated during that process?
- Our town already has one abandoned school building (Academy - 15 years ago). What are the implications of having two abandoned school buildings in our small town?
- How will new grade distributions in the middle schools (putting grades 6,7, and 8 into one building) affect the cultures of Brown and Polson? Are these changes a reflection of sound educational practices?
- Has all the necessary due diligence been completed to make an informed and prudent decision? School renovation projects and redistricting efforts are complicated, time-intensive, and involved processes.
Given the complex issues and important decisions at stake, which will impact every town resident, we are asking the BOE to take a little time to PAUSE, as the town is still reeling from the results of the recent referendum, and emotions are high. We request that the Board of Education delay the vote on the decision to close Island Avenue until after the elections on November 7.
Please join us. After signing, please spread the word.
A little more information about the Board of Education:
Current Madison, CT Board of Education Members:
Jean Fitzgerald (Chair)**
*denotes up for reelection in November
**leaving BOE but running for Board of Finance in November
Candidates for 2017 Board of Education
Five of the following to be selected; not more than 3 from one party:
Michael Abbondandolo (G)
Kirk Barneby (R)
Jessica Bowler (R)
Alison Keating (D)
Violet McNerney (R)
Matt Parthasarthy (D)
Emily Rosenthal (D)
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