Support the Waltham High School Building Project
UPDATE: Your support is needed more than ever! The Waltham School Committee and School Building Committee have been hard at work and need to know we support their work. Please consider signing if you haven't already to let them and the city know we stand behind the committees and a NEW high school building.
We the undersigned, residents of Waltham and parents of children in the Waltham Public Schools are signing here in support of the Waltham School Committee and the School Building Committee in their decision making process regarding a new high school in Waltham.
We are aware that there is a group of Waltham residents who are voicing the opinion that a new building is unnecessary in this process and that the current building can be refurbished to provide an adequate environment. We believe this is a misguided conclusion and, if implemented, will do harm to the reputation of Waltham Public Schools.
Waltham's public schools do not have a strong reputation among residents of the metro Boston area, including a fair number of Waltham residents. Waltham was recently designated a Level 3 district, in large part because the high school is designated as a Level 3 school. In recent years Waltham has made a significant investment in improving the elementary schools and it has clearly made a positive difference. It is now time to make the same investment in Waltham's high school.
In its current state, Waltham High School cannot provide the physical environment that will ensure a strong education for 21st century students. The physical plant is old and outdated and the layout does not conform with current research about ideal learning environments. When the physical plant was constructed, the architects and engineers could not have predicted the technological advancements that have occurred and the building is not able to accommodate technology that will ensure that WPS students receive an education that is second to none.
For these reasons, the new high school must actually be a new high school, meaning a new physical plant. If the decision is made to simply refurbish a building that cannot conceivably accommodate the needs of the 21st century student, it will be a grave disservice to the residents of Waltham. In that circumstance, many parents in Waltham will have to make the difficult decision about either finding a private high school for their children or moving to another community that directs more resources to ensuring the education of its residents. We hope we will not have to make that decision. Waltham Public Schools, particularly under the leadership of Dr. Echelson, has demonstrated itself capable of providing a top-notch education - please ensure that it continues to do so by lending your support to the construction of a new high school building in whatever venues you can. #onewaltham