In Your Opinion: Young Parents Should Attend School District Planning Meetings

By Bill Connell, Somerset.

Regardless of the fact that my kids have graduated, I attended two different planning sessions for the school district: The referendum restructuring and the district’s long term planning meetings.

I estimate and plan for living and I am working on my 26th and 27th school play for the district. When I am on a golf course, I don’t think and plan that much, but I enjoy looking at chaos, bringing order to it and finishing a plan. I think that is what brought me to the meetings. I still had the feeling I was in a Woody Allen movie asking myself “What am I doing here?” Planning a school district is not as simple as a few calculations or bossing a few well meaning parents around.

My kids were in MacAfee Road School when the new Franklin High School opened up. I remember being upset with the changes but the fact is I was not involved and did not understand what was happening. With that thought in mind, the current meetings were attended by people who will age out and the changes may have no impact on them. As a young parent you can be overwhelmed but attending these meetings now will help you form your children’s future and help you understand more what is happening. I am not saying it will all make sense, it will just help you from over-reacting to things.

It will help you understand what is a local issue and what is a state issue. You need old war horses to sort it out but younger parents need to participate. The best part is that you will meet teachers, administrators and other parents that you will know for 10 to 15 years. This will have positive impacts on your experience and maybe a little fun along the way.

As an example of the long road, I knew Mrs. Hurd when she was my daughter’s Rec. basketball coach. She taught my kids spirit as much as teaching the game. When I heard she was appointed vice principal of the Franklin Middle School, I thought, “that’s good.” I know this from years of crossing her path, but it started 15 years ago when my kids were in elementary school.


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