Letters to the Editor (5/7/09)

May 7, 2009

School Board wants configuration input

Almost one year ago, the Williston School Board charged the Frameworks Committee to make recommendations to improve our school in three areas: Communication, Configuration and Equity. The recommendations regarding communication were implemented and have resulted in positive changes between community and school interactions. Now the School Board is preparing to hear the final recommendations regarding configuration. After extensive research, it is clear there is no one configuration that is the key to improved student learning. However, changes that will take place in our system will maximize resources, improve equity as well as have long-term benefits for our students.

Over a decade ago, when Allen Brook School was built, the plan was to house all kindergarten through fourth grade students under one roof. But due to lack of financial resources and increasing enrollment, some of the kindergarten through fourth grade students had to be housed at Williston Central School.

We now have the opportunity to place our earliest learners together, at Allen Brook School, due to declining enrollment. Options created by the Frameworks Committee known as Option B (kindergarten through third grade at ABS; pre-kindergarten and grades four through eight at WCS) and Option C (grades one through four at ABS; pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades five through eight at WCS) are both supported by the School Board due to the fact that they both have the same grade students under one roof. This will allow our schools to function more independently, efficiently and will minimize inequities (i.e. transitions, resources, staffing). Option D, or the current configuration, will not be revisited.

The School Board feels confident that with the changes being made, we will have an improved school system. We will have better communication modes, a better design to meet the needs of our students, as well as a system more considerate of equity. We will have a school that we can all continue to be proud of!

Please join the School Board for a special board meeting for public input regarding Option B and Option C to be held on Wednesday, May 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the WCS auditorium.

Deb Baker-Moody, Laura Gigliotti, Holly Rouelle, Keith Roy, Darlene Worth

Williston School Board

What a show

Bravo! Encore! (I was wishing …) … Al Myers was looking down on his fellow thespians and beaming with delight. The “Wizard Of Oz” cast and crew hit it out of the park. I kept saying to myself, “Wow, this is a middle school production” — it was soooo much more! What a tribute. The students really came together and they can hold their heads high and be VERY proud. The spirit of Al Myers is alive and well.

Peter Engisch

Williston

Roundabout alternative

Talking with our daughter, currently living in Manhattan, Kan., she passed on some information about a one-lane roundabout in Manhattan as well as a two-lane roundabout at Fort Riley, Kan.

In Manhattan they are about to enlarge the roundabout to two lanes this summer, as it is inadequate for semis, car-towing trailers, etc. to navigate safely. As a result, the landscape around it is getting destroyed and there are instances where vehicles go over the center.

At Fort Riley where they are stationed, there are several two-lane roundabouts; one currently has backups at least one half mile during peak travel times.

At another four-way intersection in Manhattan which has signals, during peak traffic times the lights are blinking and the police direct traffic.

This last solution, using police to direct traffic at peak times, should be an option in Williston. And certainly it would be much cheaper and preserve the aesthetics of the historic district.

Eleanora Hood

Williston