Tuesday, May 5, 2009


My stomach hurts and it has all afternoon. Tonight I plan to, no I am going to, stand up in front of a room of scary, no normal people and say something silly, no important. You see, the district is trying to close Henry's school. A motion was made 2 months ago by the school board and on May 19th they plan to vote. Because you know, closing down a beloved school and displacing nearly two hundred students, many whose families barely speak English, is a 'two month ' kind of decision. It seems obvious that they have made their choice. Tonight is the last meeting.

Marks Meadow is a special school. It serves the little village of mostly international student families where I live, many of whom do not own a car and of, course can't vote. The faculty and staff at MM work with our community respectfully and fluidly. A tiny school of 193 students that has gotten the top scores in the MCAS tests, Marks Meadow school is physically attached to Furcolo Hall, a U.Mass. Education school building. The University charges no rent from our school. If the school is closed, we will permanantly lose usage of it. The other schools in the district are decent schools if a bit larger. They are all much farther away from North Village, making it very difficult for the families without a car to get there. They are also less diverse culturally and socioeconomically. The closure of MM provides barely a drop in the bucket of relief for a ridiculous defecit that has been building for many years. No figures have been released that show what the other schools cost to run. Geesh, I could go on and on. Mostly, what I will say will be concerning Henry and his needs for a small class size and his right, as a student with an I.E.P to get a "free appropriate education" and how, if he doesn't get one( and a small class size is part of that), I will ya know, sue the school ( they will pay tuition for private school) and they won't be saving much money after all. The other beef I have that no one has addressed, is the Obama/Biden Early Childhood Ed. initiatives, it's about freaking time. When Universal Preschool becomes mandated we just might want some space in our public schools.

Can someone come with me and hold my hand? Why am I so terrified. Blerg.


Emily said...

Hey Kelly - I would totally go with you tonight if it weren't for another commitment I have scheduled for tonight. I fully respect your willingness to speak to this important issue. You go girl!

Galadriel Chilton said...

I'm holding your hand, cheering you on, and sending hugs! Good for you for speaking up, and good luck!

Michaela said...

You're totally all over this Kelly. I have the same public speaking fears - I get what I like to call "the bubble", in which I can't hear what I'm saying and afterward I have no idea what I've just said (and I sweat A LOT). However, when I remind myself of the sense of calm and self-assured feeling that used to come over me when I was on stage, it seems silly. Remember that? I remember you as a fantastic actor, so maybe if you try and get into the stage mentality, you can just play the part of the extremely pissed off yet eloquent and persuasive woman. You can do it. Break a leg!


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