Letter to the editor: ACSD must keep its small schools

To all concerned in response to Angelo Lynn’s April 25 editorial:
The conversations I’m having to have surrounding the potential closure of one or more of ACSD’s elementary schools is maddening, quite frankly. Have we honestly become a society that is solely focused on dollar signs that we are willing to sacrifice our children’s educational experience?!
These children are our future. What are we even doing?
In my opinion, the consequences our children will inevitably face outweigh the outrageously inaccurate costs of maintaining status quo. Small schools are so valuable in fostering a nurturing environment that encourages kids, on their own, to be confident, independent and feel important. Kids are more engaged in environments where they feel comfortable and acknowledged.
As a new parent in Ripton Elementary School it is refreshing to walk through the school doors and be greeted by highly intelligent, interactive and empowered children who know who I am and my younger child who isn’t even of school-age yet. This environment has been extremely instrumental in allowing my very shy older son to feel safe and supported away from the comfort of home. He is not lost.
It is also statistically proven that smaller schools have increased teacher satisfaction and improved school climate, which translates to lower student bullying rates. In an age where bullying is on the rise I would think this would be a significant factor to consider but all I see in these reports are numbers.
Numbers won’t help my child when he’s feeling lost, unimportant, unknown in a larger school setting. Numbers won’t help my child to feel empowered to speak up in a large classroom. Numbers won’t help my child when he has a problem but is scared to ask for help. Large schools can swallow children. No, in fact these numbers won’t do anything but pin communities against each other in this great fight to stop the board from invading our towns and stealing our children’s right to appropriate education to save some coin.
And who is really affected? My kids. My neighbors’ kids. Our future kids. Your grandkids. Please, we’re not having the right conversations here. Let’s consider what is most important and think this through much more considerately than we are currently.
Erin Robinson & Family

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