Sunday, January 24, 2016

Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace

The time has come to do something about the educational system in Southbridge.

For almost thirteen years the district has been identified by the state as performing well below acceptable standards.

Residents know that the problems with the system have persisted even longer than that. 

For a period, under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Dale Hanley, the district was making progress in improving its performance.

However, with her retirement from the superintendent’s role in 2010, the district once again fell into decline.

Since 2010 the district has seen an unprecedented level of turmoil and personnel turnover.

While the current leadership of the school committee has repeatedly claimed that it is correcting the mistakes of its predecessor, it is hard to accept such claims given that several key members were party to the initial missteps in 2010.

These feelings are added to by the lip service that the current chair initially gave to the state prior to subsequently insulting its record of assistance and labelling their representative as a “hack”. They are further compounded by his willful misrepresentation of facts that led to the election of the McLoughlin/Donovan regime. The final blow has come with the increasing belligerence the committee has demonstrated in its effort to alter the structure of the middle/high school and put a new superintendent in place before the state could act.

In response the DESE has altered its agenda for the January 26th meeting from merely holding a discussion of the Southbridge situation to holding a discussion and possible vote on the Commissioner’s request that the town be labelled Level 5 and placed under receivership.

Toward that end a public hearing will be held starting at 4:30 PM Monday night in the old high school auditorium at 25 Cole Ave.

It is now incumbent upon citizens who feel as I do to speak out. Now is the time for which you have waited. The state has proven its mettle in dealing with problems that have shown themselves to be beyond the reach of local officials in Lawrence and before that in Chelsea.

Even more so, it is the time for the parents of children who are in the system or who are about to be, to be heard.

It is those students who are the most vulnerable to the ongoing chaos in the Southbridge school system. It is those students who are most likely to benefit from a focused and concentrated program by the state to improve conditions.

Now is your chance, possibly your last chance, to speak out. Now is the time to create a sense of urgency that will compel the DESE Board to vote for receivership the next day, rather than waiting until next month. 

Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

Opportunity to be heard by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Regarding the Future of the Southbridge Public Schools

Date:  Monday, January 25, 2016
Time: 4:30 - 7:30 PM
Location: Cole Avenue Auditorium, Southbridge Public Schools
25 Cole Avenue, Southbridge, MA 01550

The Southbridge community is invited to address the Board as it considers whether to designate Southbridge a “Level 5” or chronically underperforming district.  Some issues participants may choose to address include:

What is going well in the Southbridge schools?
What needs improvement?
What is your vision for the future of the Southbridge Public Schools?

The Board’s primary goal is to hear from as many Southbridge residents and officials as possible. Participants will register to publicly comment upon arrival and will be given 3 minutes to speak within the time allotted; Southbridge community members will be given priority.  If submitting written comments, please provide 15 copies if possible. Interested parties are also encouraged to submit written comments in advance to:

Supervised childcare will be provided by the district.

escuche su opinión sobre el futuro de las escuelas públicas de Southbridge

Fecha: lunes 25 de enero  del 2016
Hora: 4:30 a 7:30 PM
Dirección: Cole Avenue Auditorium, Southbridge Public Schools
25 Cole Avenue, Southbridge, MA 01550

La comunidad de Southbridge está invitada a dialogar con el Consejo en cuanto al tema de otorgar a las escuelas públicas de Southbridge el “Nivel 5” que es considerado un distrito de rendimiento inferior persistente. Algunos temas que los participantes podrían abordar son:  

¿Qué  es lo bueno que están haciendo las escuelas de Southbridge?
 ¿Qué se podría mejorar?
¿Cuál  es su visión  para el futuro de las escuelas publicas de Southbridge?

 La meta del Consejo es primeramente escuchar a tantos residentes y oficiales de Southbridge como sea posible. Los participantes que deseen hacer comentarios públicos se registraran al llegar a la reunión y tendrán un tiempo limite de 3 minutos para hablar.  Los  miembros de la comunidad de Southbridge tendrán prioridad. Si usted prefiere  presentar sus comentarios por escrito, por favor provea por los menos 15 copias. Las personas que estén interesadas en exponer sus opiniones por adelantado, pueden mandar sus comentarios a

El distrito proporcionará cuidado supervisado de niños.



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