Raymond school closure comments

Comments made during the Nov. 10 public hearing on proposed closure of Jordan Small Middle School:

“I feel like RSU is starting to stand for Raymond suffering unanimously. Neighborhood schools are the fabric of a community. I don’t want Windham to take over my fabric of life. I don’t like the idea of older kids mixed with younger kids — it doesn’t sound fun for school. We don’t need to move the furniture and spend a lot of money. Don’t mess with our neighborhood school,” — Robert Murray, Raymond resident

“My brother goes to JMSC, and from what he says it is really cool. So, don’t close it because I want to go,” — Cal Murray, RES student

“You have to look very seriously at how spread out Raymond is; and what your longer term objectives are. I don’t like the combined grades. I don’t think one floor is good enough for separation. I’d urge you to not consider (the school closure.) Consolidation is compared to a marriage. This is seeming like a really crappy marriage. I don’t know if the law allows us to get divorced right now,” — Holly Mitchell

“In 1991, a study determined that we should build another school. My emotions aren’t about losing a building. It’s about losing what is at that building. Yes, we can make do with what we have — we do that every day. Is this plan best for the kids? No, it’s not. It is my understanding that there was not one teacher from JSMS on the committee studying facilities. Please talk to us, please talk to us teachers,” — Terry Taiani, teacher at JSMS who has 35 years experience in education

“I’ve been through the process of watching the middle school grow. I am not about numbers. I am about the kids. We need to acknowledge this school was built for K-4. This was built for that developmental stage. The process of things is going really quickly, too fast. We need to slow down. Let’s not lose sight of the kids’ self-esteem. We all want these schools to be happy places. Sometimes, the numbers forget to look at that,” — Barbara Low, social worker for the district for 17 years

“Overcrowding at schools has caused discipline problems. Overcrowding makes it more difficult on our teachers. Let’s make it easier on teachers, give them smaller classroom sizes. Bussing students to less crowded schools is preferable. I was part of redistricting, and going to another school taught me flexibility,” — Gregg Curtis

“When I first moved to town, Jordan Small Middle School was a tiny school. I’ve watched kids from two schools over the years. Wouldn’t we better off re-districting than closing JSMS? I can see a difference in little ones who ride with older students. They shouldn’t have to share their school with older kids. I don’t see this school being renovated for kindergarten through eighth grade,” — Sharon Plummer, bus driver

“The kids won’t get traumatized. The kids are flexible. It’s the adults who are less flexible. We cannot put K through eighth grade in this building. It’s not physically possible. It wasn’t designed for it,” — Roger Ginn, Raymond resident who served on the Regional Consolidation Committee

“The two music programs are completely different philosophically. The younger kids’ program includes music and dancing that requires space. At middle school, there’s a lot of large equipment that needs to be accessible immediately. Fifty percent of the middle school students are involved in band. The combination of the two programs in one music room won’t work. There would have to be another room for music. I don’t know if you have considered that,” — Patty Gordon, RSU No. 14 music teacher

“The Windham Primary School is over-crowded; there is nowhere to park. Field Allen School should be torn down. Personally, I don’t think a K through 8 is big deal. My issue is how far a child travels to school. We live 5 to 10 minutes from school, but my son is on the bus for 30 minutes. I ask that the board to consider its long-range goals. I know (closing a school) is an emotional decision,” — Michelle Jordon, Windham resident with son at WPS

“I watched a television report that said economic times are grim, and we need to be aware it could be a while before the economy recovers. If we withdrew from RSU, we would be penalized heavily. I think philosophical issues need to be addressed before addressing practical issues. If there are ways we can utilize part of Jordan Small Middle School — to be a senior center, a recreational center, we should look at those ideas,” — Lean Labrecque, Raymond resident and retired teacher

“It does sadden me at this point. I don’t think Windham and Raymond are coming together. Consolidation should bring our kids together. There may be a time down the road when that happens. But it won’t happen by crowding all the Raymond kids into a school that isn’t large enough. The plan that is on the table doesn’t address Windham’s overcrowding issue. I’ve seen changes in Raymond because that’s the way things are done in Windham. Please consider more options,” — Tammy Louko, Raymond resident with children in Raymond, and Windham High School

Please follow and like us: