2010-01-14 / Letters to the Editor

High school not for everyone

I am one of many parents who attended last week’s School Committee meeting to hear the report of the High School Review Committee. Now that I have had the chance to process the discussion and data, I want to take the opportunity to offer some commendations and reflections.

First, I would like to commend all the members of the review committee for their hard work in researching the two high schools and providing the community with such a thorough report. It is clear that much time and effort went into the review.

Second, I would like to extend thanks to School Committee Chair Cathy Kaiser for clarifying to the public the many facets of the decision-making process. Clearly, there is much more to the process than simply combining the review committee’s recommendation with a vote from parents.

I also appreciated Dr. Lukon’s comment regarding the decision that she might have made for her own children had they been entering high school at this time. I believe her point was that every child is different, and that while one high school might be considered by a parent as the right match for his child, another school might be the correct choice for another child.

Though I realize the School Committee is charged with the task of selecting just one high school for the entire Jamestown student body, the fact that not every parent of Jamestown’s approximately 500 elementary and middle school students would make the same choice for their children seemed to be lost on at least a few parents. Each child has his or her own unique interests, talents and personality, and consequently, there is no clear and obvious choice that will suit everyone. I am not touting one school over the other, merely respectfully asking that when parents speak out, they attempt to look outside of their world and realize that diverse perspectives, wishes and values do exist.

Since I moved to Jamestown a few years ago, I have been impressed by the spirit of community, understanding and respect for individual differences in the people I have met, both in and outside of the schools. The review committee did a fair job of presenting the strengths and needs of both schools, and in the end, the School Committee will make a determination based on the report, public input and a host of other factors.

Regardless of what decision is ultimately made, it would be pleasing to know that my fellow Jamestowners truly understand that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to our children and their education.
Jill Ball

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