I am a parent of 3 students in the district. I have an elementary teaching
license but have chosen to volunteer in the schools my children attend until they are grown. I've been involved in the community
effort to slow the district's long range planning so that more community feed-back can be considered. I appreciate the willingness
of the board and administration to do this and have been inspired by the creative ideas that have emerged.
I'm most attracted to plans that put cuts in administrative budgets
before closing neighborhood elementary schools. Waiting on new text books or staff development for elementary school teachers has less of
an impact on education than closing any neighborhood school.
A good teacher, likes to learn, cares a great deal about kids, and
loves to teach. Teachers with these qualities get most of the
support they need by working in a small neighborhood school. With a manageable class size and volunteer support, they are able to bond
with all students and are able to find ways to help them keep pace with any difficult material. Close a neighborhood elementary school
and you lose neighborhood volunteers and a kind of intimacy in the school environment. With fewer mothers at home these days, intimacy
in the school environment is more important than ever.
When all reasonable cuts have been made in the administrative budget, and schools must be closed to meet budget shortfalls, I think it most
sensible to consider closing high schools before middle schools or elementary schools. This approach is in step with the normal process
of advancing our children toward independence. We slowly let them satellite further and further from their family and neighborhood
until they feel comfortable navigating their way through the world at large as young adults. So it is that a high school student is much
better suited to dealing with the challenges of a bigger school community that's farther from home than an elementary student.
I think it's time to close one of the high schools in Duluth. This
change will invoke fear in many parents and students, but many of us are willing to stay calm on the wave of that change and are willing
to ride it out with sensitive deliberation to a place of financial
stability for our school district. In the next school board
election, my husband and I will be looking for candidates that are
willing to make the move to 2 high schools. We will support those
candidates with our votes, with editorials, and in any other way we
The Board decided Thursday night, to all intents and purposes, to close elementary schools and keep three high schools. I don't know how to undo this decision. Another parent sent me an email summing up what happened. You can find his email and my reply on my website:
Click here: New Plan Feel free to share this with anyone who agrees with you that closing a high school is a more sensible thing for us to do.