Comment history

Prospect of Wakarusa Valley School closure upsets parents

I know. And we wanted to be there. I applaud Pinkney for organizing such a public display of support. We have just had to focus our efforts in the areas we felt were going to have the biggest impact on those who had the final vote, so we've taken our fight "inside". I believe this year is the first year Pinkney has been targeted so publicly. We were targeted last year, so we started with the more public efforts, but can only spread ourselves so thin. I appreciate your comments, both original and as a reply, and I agree that we have to engage proactively. Thanks for being involved in the issue.

February 23, 2011 at 12:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Prospect of Wakarusa Valley School closure upsets parents

I was there, as were many other Wakarusa parents. Forgive us for not pulling out the signs, t shirts and songs. Been there, done that. Many Wakarusa Valley families have spent countless hours marching, being interviewed, attending meetings, speaking out, writing letters, and generally fighting with everything we have to keep our school open. We have also invested significant time in improving our science program in order to improve our school, including collaboration with key programs at KU, and with the blessing of the district. This is not our first rodeo. We started with the heartfelt pleas and publicity, and were told that we needed to argue our case with more hard facts. Do not mistake less public displays of support for Wakarusa Valley for a lack of concern or participation. We continue to fight until the very last second to keep our school open. If you would like more information about the details of how we are doing this, let me know, but please don't assume because we aren't in front of the district office with a sign that we are not engaged. Quite the opposite.

February 23, 2011 at 11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Prospect of Wakarusa Valley School closure upsets parents

Well said!!!! We need MANY more people to stand up for the unique atmosphere that is Wakarusa Valley - before it is too late!!!

February 23, 2011 at 10:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Prospect of Wakarusa Valley School closure upsets parents

too bad, because we would seriously consider this as an option after what we've endured with the Lawrence school district the past two years.

February 23, 2011 at 10:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Prospect of Wakarusa Valley School closure upsets parents

ktbob1954 - Thanks for weighing in with support. Often it feels like Wakarusa families are the "outliers" and no one else understands what we are up against as a "country" school. My plan previously was not to send my kids to Lawrence schools, but rather to send them to a smaller, neighboring community for the very reasons you describe. We were so pleasantly surprised by Wakarusa Valley and its unique qualities, and now that seems to be the very thing that makes us "undesirable" to others in Lawrence. We will indeed fight til the end to save this school, and thank you again for speaking up!

February 23, 2011 at 10:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force recommends Wakarusa Valley School closure, consolidation of at least four other schools

And I'm sure you somehow also walked 5 miles uphill in the snow each way. My kids ride the bus currently - not exactly the most conducive environment for "reading, doing homework". Socializing maybe. It is not doom and gloom. It is real concern for real children and the quality of their education. And it is a certain school, or schools, who have less say in that than others. Frankly more people should be angry about this, and when they see what is really going to happen and how many schools it will affect negatively, they will be. Unfortunately it will likely come after some board members "retire", some already get re-elected, and Dr. Doll's contract gets renewed.

February 22, 2011 at 12:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: New York ‘process’ offers clues for coping with closure; seek consensus or vote?; Mark Bradford explains how one can be greater than two

LeCroix has some great points - notably "task force largely ignores its own criteria and goes ahead and recommends closure". One of the most frustrating things in the world is to realize your voice is not heard. So much for a "community task force". The facts and figures were skewed as needed to push, pull, lead, and drag everyone to the conclusion some already wanted from the beginning.
Years ago when I considered having children, and whether or not to raise them in/around Lawrence, I had real concerns about the size of the schools and the motives of the administration. My plan was to educate my children in a smaller, surrounding community. Financially I was unable to make that move as my children started school, but was pleasantly surprised by the elementary school environment. We seem to be poised (and hell bent) to destroy that, and the very nightmare I had about Lawrence schools is coming true.

February 22, 2011 at 8:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: Southwest wants to keep its directional name; could Broken Arrow be back in closure mix?; schedule changes for developmental screenings

My daughter attended Broken Arrow. I would agree with Clevercowgirl. The teachers are fantastic, but the physical space is awful. The children in the back rows of one classroom are very close to those in the back rows of another. Concentration can be extremely difficult even for children who normally don't have a problem with this. And although this is secondary to the classroom environment, it also troubles me that the outdoor space (playground area) is so small now as a result of the renovations, and is right next to a busy street. If they add even more students to Broken Arrow by closing other schools, how are they going to address the issues of open classrooms and small outdoor space? Measuring square footage is much different than presenting an assessment of the quality of that space.

February 17, 2011 at 8:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

First Bell: Task force moderator solicits e-mail insights; Wakarusa Valley bus routes would be reviewed; potential moves for Cordley, Pinckney students

"The longest bus route for a student at Wakarusa Valley School is 52 minutes, and that number wouldn’t be expected to increase much — if at all — should the school be closed next year and its students enrolled at other elementary schools in Lawrence, a district official said.
The longest current bus ride starts at 6:38 a.m. for one student, who gets dropped off at school at 7:30 a.m., said Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer."
If that is true, and I question whether this is entirely accurate after speaking with parents of current riders, this is a much different scenario if the child is a 5th grader than if the child is a kindergartner. So, given that Broken Arrow doesn't have all day kindergarten, and if that is where at least some Wakarusa children would go, a kindergartner could be on the bus for a total of 2 hours per day, in order to go to school for four hours? How does this make good sense???

February 15, 2011 at 10:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence School District Superintendent Rick Doll passes job review

as with the vote to close schools, it is a shame that the contract extension vote will take place prior to a new school board being elected....

February 15, 2011 at 9:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )