I am not one to write a lot about hotly debated issues, but it has been on my mind that we, Windsor residents, are in for some changes. We all know changes are coming in Windsor. With an entire year devoted to town wide resident meetings and the pivotal Board of Education vote to restructure our entire school system, changes are afoot. Besides that, our superintendent resigned, putting us on the lookout for a new leader.
Additionally, Tuesday night, budget assumptions were presented that put Windsor's funding $600,000 below this year. This loss of federal money right off the bat puts Windsor behind the eight-ball before the budget season even begins. This money was approved about two years ago, but was held off to be used this school year. Now, dried up, that vein no longer exists.
Next year, we will be opening our school year with one less school, as well as a predicted lower number of attending students and hopefully we will have chosen a new permanent superintendent as well.
As a parent, how do you feel about the upheaval occurring within the school district? Have you decided to make alternate plans for your children due to the upcoming changes? If you are concerned, what are you doing to help this process of change be a success?
Some good news: Frank Williams, Windsor's Financial Director, expects that there will be some cost savings with the closing of Roger Wolcott and the reorganization and utility costs are expected to remain flat.
But there is still a long road ahead of us if we are to remain a tightly knit, forward thinking and educating district.
So what can we, as parents, be doing now to be a part of shaping the district in it's new form?
As parent focus groups are over, the first thing you can do is read the report on-line organized by the New England School Development Council (NESDC), the group hired to assist us in finding our next superintendent. On that report you can find all the parent suggestions for characteristics of our next leader of the district.
Attend a Board of Education meeting to gather information on the progress of the transition to the new district format or to voice your thoughts about the upcoming changes with constructive questions or suggestions. The transition at this point is a monthly process, decisions are already being made and discussed for next year. A month-by-month break down is available on the Board of Education website for you to read.
And at the close to home level, volunteer at your child's school, go in and help teachers stuff folders, plan events, be a part of the Parent Teacher Organizations or Action Teams in your school. Be visible, and if you have thoughts, speak up. If you have never made time to be involved, this is the time to get involved.
For Windsor parents, this is not a time to sit and watch changes take place before your eyes, it is a time to be a part of the change and for us all to take an active role in defining what the future of Windsor schools will look like.