• Title: "… I am thinking DAILY if this is best for my boys."
  • Author: Julianna Filice-Hanna
  • Date: 01/26/2016
  • Additional Categories: Recent Essays, Julianna Filice-Hanna

"… I am thinking DAILY if this is best for my boys."

Donley is in need of your full support. The reality facing Donley is that it is a school with a large achievement gap and a large socio-economic gap. Title 1 will not be enough. We have to raise our own money for a library that ELPS itself called completely inadequate. Forget picture and chapter books…I am talking research books, books on countries that still exist with maps children can reference. How can we achieve your buzzword of innovative learning with a defunct library?? How can we close the longest standing achievement gap? Title 1 will not give us more parapros, more aides… we need bodies. We need lunch and recess help to keep our kids safe. There are more pressing issues for Donley’s students and staff. It is more than the library. Do not think that by aiding us finally with our library needs you are fully addressing our deficits.

For many of Donley’s students, a STEAM school opening at another building will be an impossible option. It will also completely impact the positivity that occurs when children are surrounded by differentiated learners. The parents at Donley who have access to the STEAM school process and have the ability to apply, transportation to bring their children to the school and who choose to leave, will further impact our Donley community.

The WDSA, teachers, staff, PARENTS and administration of the school [KL1] are working very hard to change the narrative of Donley and deserve your help in changing it too.

Our math scores district wide are struggling. What is your plan to address the new State mandated Science requirements? Instead of focusing on the Math and Science curriculum for all students, this Board has totally shifted its focus to an unopened building.

Do you really think 1 high achieving school with innovative learning will bring people to EL schools? Will bring those that have left back?

Innovative, outstanding education programs and physical support to achieve this should be your priority at each school. There are basic needs at each school. How can you think without addressing those needs you will attract new families to the district?

All the focus of innovation for all, has been set to one. And that is something that I cannot understand.

And it is not because I am “selfish” or “stuck in the past” as was stated at the last board meeting I attended. How can I be stuck in the past, when I am a NEW parent for our district? The ones making the decisions to reopen a building that has been closed less than two years are the ones stuck in the past. I am sure it was a very difficult decision to close a school. And I have now switched to the word school and not building. School carries the meaning of a community attached to it. That community has moved on and become integral members at new schools. You are focused on a building.

I am not selfish. And your community is not selfish. When the LSJ wrote the article about our library needs, it was members from the entire ELPS community that sought our parent group out and made donations. For you to imply that we are selfish with our resources is a slap in the face.

However, when the board stated we were scared. I can agree with that. I am scared about the state of our schools and I am thinking DAILY if this is best for my boys. And this is not a threat but the truth. We are completely invested in Donley. Our whole hearts and are physical presence.

But you are losing many parents. You are alienating and losing devoted parents. Parents that I am shocked are leaving the district because they are staunch EL community supporters.

When it comes time for my three year old to attend school, if things haven’t changed, achievement gaps addressed and equality for all kids a priority, we cannot choose ELPS because quite frankly my boys deserve better.

[KL1]Is this true?

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