Christine DeAmbrose 0

The New Wilmington High School- School of the Future

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4/11/11 Good Morning Superintendent Benton and Members of the Wilmington School Committee, I am so excited that the town is willing to take on the challenges of a new high school. This is such a pivotal time for our children and community, and a huge opportunity for becoming a state-of -the-art high school. Let’s have our children look back on their school years knowing we did our best for them. We can still be a family-centered community while achieving exceptional academic standards for our children. As you are planning and considering a new building, I'm hoping there is a considerable paradigm shift in thinking about our new high school of the 21st century. Please embrace the amazing potential of our children and believe that technological change will win if we fight it. The research shows that home schooling continues to grow and the charter school movement is exploding. People want schools that engage their children, differentiate instruction, celebrate all abilities and connect children with skills they will need to compete for jobs across the globe. I am certain everyone on the School Committee wants our children to be competitive and current. Therefore, I am asking you all to please research the cutting edge schools in our nation as a model for OUR high school. Let’s work smarter and not look back in ten years and say, “if only”. Here is one resource I have found a wonderful source of information and knowledge, but there are many. As a parent of three children in town (grades 1,4,6) and as an experienced educator, I am fully invested in supporting the forward thinking leaders in our town, as are many people in town who have not found a voice or a mobilizing force for change. While I tend to be nostalgic for books made of paper too, I now see my 10 year old daughter reading three books at a time on her Nook without ever having gone to a library and without the need to carry five pounds of books with her... And then there's my seven year old who is researching prices of Star Wars figurines on Ebay while simultaneously doing his homework on the web on Study Island.. The pace of technology is not currently reflected in our schools and in turn, we are producing children ill prepared for the world they will soon be entering. Our buildings, curriculum, and staff, particularly the new assistant superintendent we will hire, MUST reflect the voice of a town that is part of a global and interdependent world. You have made many wonderful things happen in this town, and I hope you know there are many townspeople looking to you and the School Committee for leadership in moving our schools into the 21st century, Many of us are already living and working there! I'm sure there are lessons to be learned from building the Middle School just a few years ago, just think of what's changed already and what could have been done better. If we do not keep pace, it is because we chose not to keep pace. Even following the happenings in our neighboring Burlington Public Schools, may demonstrate how calculated risks will reap fantastic rewards. Here's their Blogspot . Check out what's happening there. They are embracing the future and ensuring no child really is left behind. I am certain there are many wonderful happenings in Wilmington Schools every day, but not on a scale that is necessary for a full paradigm shift. On behalf of my family and the undersigned community, we urge you all to support your teachers, families, and businesses by giving them the building, tools, access and opportunity to make this happen. Our children deserve an exceptional high school and you have the power to make that happen. Call on us, we will stand beside you and build the bridges needed to improve, as well as celebrate, a Wilmington High School of the 21st Century. Sincerely, Christine DeAmbrose, Wilmington Resident #978-447-5159

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