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.