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Roger Wolcott Could Serve as Regional Alternative Education School

A school board subcommittee met to discuss the future of the former early childhood center.

At the time of Windsor's school reorganization, the savings associated with closing Roger Wolcott Early Childhood Center were touted. At the time, the district was taking a hard look at taking a wise approach to utilizing its buildings in town.

Now, the district is looking at using its space more efficiently again, but this time, that includes bringing Roger Wolcott back into the fold.

A subcommittee of the school board met recently to discuss possibilities for the building, and the option to which the most time was dedicated was the ability to use Roger Wolcott as a regional school for alternative education.

According to Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Villar and district Director for Pupil and Special Education Services Jodi Lefkowitz, it would take some time to build up to the point at which regional needs could be met, but that efforts could begin by transferring Windsor's current alternative education program, which is housed at L.P. Wilson Community Center, to Roger Wolcott.

The district's alternative education program provides education for students who have struggled to excel in traditional learning environments. Whether students have been expelled from on of the district's traditional buildings or they are simply in need of support beyond that provided at those facilities, the district has the responsibility to provide public education opportunities. The program takes on various shapes within the district, providing services within Windsor's schools, at L.P. Wilson and also outside of the district.

Associated costs can run high, and establishing an in-district place for both L.P. Wilson students and students who have been placed out of district to receive alternative educational opportunities could generate revenue for the town, according to Villar.

Given the space available at Roger Wolcott, the alternative education program subcommittee members discussed, could be expanded in time, serving the needs of communities beyond Windsor's borders.

Accordingly, Windsor would stand to benefit from tuition payments other districts would pay to have their students educated here in town.

Additional possibilities for use discussed at the meeting were space for Team Paragon, a youth robotic program currently using town property on Mechanic Street to meet its needs, and opening it up again as an early childhood education center.

Villar was sure to make clear a decision is far from being made regarding the use of Roger Wolcott, and he's open to hear suggestions as the conversation moves along.

Laurie Rumrill March 03, 2013 at 10:23 PM
I have lived on East Wolcott for 26 years, raised my children here and taught at Roger Wolcott from '96 until it closed last year. I LOVE my neighborhood! It is a terrific place with wonderful people. It troubles me that there is a perception of our neighborhood as dangerous or unsafe (why do the same people who carefully locked their car doors at RW, now leave them running at Ellsworth when they drop off or pick up their children?) I lived through the years that Wolcott was closed and empty and it was awful for our neighborhood. I DO want something to go there--I love the idea of team Paragon or Discovery. Better yet, what about housing the Adult Ed program there? I teach adult Ed at night and I know we have students who walk to the High School in the dark. Roger Wolcott is on a bus line. I strongly suspect that a regional alternative Ed center would feed into the negative perception of my neighborhood and I do not think that would be a good thing, misplaced or not.
ivelisse dejesus March 07, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I agree with Mrs. Rumrill, I also live on 117 East Wolcott and LOVE my neighborhood. I believe it would be a good idea to open the facility for the Adult Education program.

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