Open Letter to the West Milford Board of Education May 14, 2010 School Board Members: We, the undersigned parents, teachers, students, school staff, neighbors and concerned citizens, request that you VOTE NO to any proposed closings of the West Milford district’s schools, consisting of Apshua Elementary School, Maple Road Elementary School, Marshall Hill Elementary School, Paradise Knolls Elementary School, Upper Greenwood Lake Elementary School or Westbrook Elementary School. We are not convinced that the potential cost savings of moving forward with this plan clearly outweigh the potential harm to our children and to the school system. Before proposing to close any school, the board must be able to answer at least the following ten questions: 1. What are the expected financial and academic benefits of closing a school? A detailed accounting of cost savings, not generalizations, should be provided. 2. Which schools are being targeted for closing? 3. How and why were these schools selected for closure? 4. Will there be a team/committee in place to answer all questions about research and statistics needed to close a school? 5. What are the plans for the school building that will be closed? 6. What are the detailed plans, with timelines, to ensure that the receiving schools (facilities and educational programs) will be ready for the large influx of students? 7. What will be the expected class size? Will there be sufficient teachers and staff to run a successful school? What will be the teacher to student ratio? 8. Have the plans been developed in conjunction with the stakeholders? Has enough time been provided to families to allow for transition from one school to another? 9. What attendance zone boundary changes are being proposed, and has the required analysis of demographic data and impact on the school system been conducted? 10. Is there even a plan in place? Is there even a committee assigned to investigate these, and many more, questions that we have a right to have answered? We are entitled, as taxpayers, to be privy to any and all information on the possibility of a school closure. We do not believe that closing any of the elementary schools in West Milford will be beneficial to our students. We look forward to continued dialogue where these and other questions can be addressed. Thank you.
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