Editor, The Cheshire Herald:
Although my daughters graduated from the Cheshire School System many years ago, I remain passionate about K-12 education in our town. I have kept abreast of the work of the School Modernization Committee and discussions at the Town Council and Board of Education meetings. I am aware that some members of the TC and the BoE favor the “Scenario 6” plan calling for a rebuild of both Chapman and Norton Schools. However, I was encouraged to see the comment by Councilman Peter Talbot recently calling for more public input on the two plans under consideration — the aforementioned Scenario 6 and “Scenario 2A,” which includes creating a new 6 through 8 grade middle school and rebuilding Chapman School on the existing property.
I am totally in favor of building a new middle school. When I toured Dodd Middle School as part of the SMC outreach to the community, I was very dismayed to see the severe limitations and deficiencies of that facility, including lack of adequate space for the cafeteria/auditorium, the music program, and the dramatic arts program. We can surely do better for our young people who are at such a critical age in middle school.
I sincerely support the argument made by middle school science teacher Brian Lopez that the 6 through 8 grade middle school structure ensures that students in 6th grade would receive instruction from a certified teacher in all areas, from math to science and social studies.
A new middle school to house all middle school students in Cheshire is a sound investment in maintaining our academic standards in Cheshire as well as an investment in our property values and quality of life in our town. I encourage Cheshire residents to support a new 6 through 8 grade middle school.
Judith M. Slisz