Feb 272014

February 26, 2014

Dear Editor,

My name is Marlena Gilbert, just one of the many concerned resident and parents of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District. As you know our school district is struggling with a 2.7 million dollar deficit that will require both Groton & Dunstable residents to come together to obtain a viable solution that will educate the whole child.

There have been many public hearings & meetings with the school committee that was to inform residents of Groton & Dunstable of the budget crisis and to gather input for proposed revenue & cuts within the school or town budget in effort to provide our children with a well-rounded education.

As of February 19, 2014 the school committee has recommended cuts that not only increase class sizes to a level that would result in 3rd & 4th grade class room sizes to increase to an average of 26-30 students and to decrease if not eliminate the Art, Music and Foreign Language programs in the high school & middle school.

The recommended cuts have been publicized via this link: http://www.gdrsd.org/view/1301.pdf

What the school committee and most importantly the residents of Groton and Dunstable need to be aware of is the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School is accredited with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). These cuts to the Arts and Foreign Languages programs may cause the schools to lose its accreditation with NEASC. This is a serious issue and needs immediate attention. Many students graduating from such a high school will be unable to be accepted at most colleges and universities in the United States, especially considering most higher education institutions require at least 2 years of a foreign language as admission criteria. School accreditation is good for usually 10 years. The NEASC accreditation is like the “good housekeeping seal of approval” for colleges to know your high school has at least minimal standards in curricular content and facilities. Without it, most colleges simply will not want to accept our graduates.

This petition formally requests the school committee to NOT eliminate the Art/Music/Foreign Language programs and to NOT increase our elementary school classroom sizes. Instead of such cuts we ask the school committee to restructure the budget, research for any and all possible sustainable income and to consider a possible financial solution through an override.

Petition Link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/392/450/994/save-art-music-programs-stop-the-increase-of-class-sizes/#

I ask the residents of Groton & Dunstable to sign this petition to make your voice heard and to work
towards our goal to educate the whole-child and offer a well-rounded education

Thank You,
Marlena Gilbert
Concerned Groton Resident