Sunday, February 6, 2011

Welcome to YOUR BlogSpot to Save Clarksville Elementary

As we all know, the future of Clarksville Elementary School has, over the last couple months, been placed very much in doubt.
Closing our school as a means of offsetting budget deficits is a topic that has been put forth over the years but never reached the level of possibility that exists today as a result of the "recommendations" of the recently empaneled "think tank".
While a final decision regarding the closure of CES has not yet been made (according to district officials) the potential impact of closing our school, especially on the kids, rises to the level of devastating in the minds of many.
That information regarding the topic has been subject to drastic changes over very short time periods and is frequently available on the "rumor mill" long before being officially acknowledged by the district, has only fueled the flames of mistrust.
That many of the most ardent proponents of closure are individuals who have demonstrated histories of an "agenda" other than the "budget" is a fact not lost on those who have witnessed the "snob zoning" treatment Clarksville has been subject to over the years.
 During the course of the debate to date, many "straw man" arguments have been put forth by those attempting to justify the closing. "Declining enrollment" and "small(er) class sizes" at CES compared to other district schools is one voiced often by proponents attempting to justify their positions.
There could be no more specious an argument when one  considers the fact that student population at any given school is totally a function of how the district designs the individual "zones" for each school. When the current "districting" includes transporting a child that lives 1.2 miles from CES, more than 6 miles to attend Eagle, is it any wonder parents are enraged and class sizes are reduced?
As the title says, this blog is designed to be YOUR forum. We will be publishing "topics" - items and issues of concern throughout the process in an effort to stimulate discussion and reach a consensus as to the best plan of action to reach our goal of assuring CES remains the treasure it is today.
What can you do to help?
First of all, join the blog so your voice can be heard and add your comments.
Secondly, invite your friends, your children's friends' parents, your neighbors, anyone interested in helping to Save Our School to join the blog and contribute.
Finally, if you have a "topic" which you would like to see addressed compose an article and submit via email to SaveClarksvilleElementary@gmail.com and we will publish it, unedited (subject to the comments below).
"Topics" included herein will be dictated by concerns voiced by parents, students, teachers, and taxpayers. A partial list of those items that have been brought to our attention thus far includes:
  • the "survey" recently sponsored by and conducted on behalf of the BCTA,
  • the process by which the potential closure of CES came to be a very real possibility,
  • the "rift" which has developed between various parties in the Clarksville PTA regarding their representation of the Clarksville community,
  • how might we, as a united group, deal with the situation should the BOE decide to include closure in the upcoming budget?
While we make no secret of the fact that we come to this mission with a clear agenda (to prevent the closure of CES) it is our hope and intention that the discourse remain civil, open, honest, and professional.
Both the "comments" and any "topic articles" will be reviewed prior to publishing and profanity, personal attacks, etc., edited or removed.
While the best case scenario would be for the district officials to reach a decision to NOT CLOSE CES, the possibility that they will vote to close is still, at this point in time, very real. We must be prepared to deal with that possibility and must do everything we can in the interim to influence the decision and make known our desires.
It is imperative that our voices be heard. To that end we encourage you in the strongest possible terms to attend both the second (and final) Community Budget Forum (2/7/11 7pm, BCMS LMC) and the BOE meeting (2/9/11 7pm, 90 Adams).
Thanks in advance for your help and let's get started.
First invite your friends to join the blog by sending them the URL - saveCES.blogspot.com
Next, add your comments, suggestions, requests by clicking the "comments" link directly below and to the right. A new window will open where you will be able to log in and post your comments. The comment will not appear immediately but will as soon as it is reviewed by a moderator.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great site and well said! Clarksville is indeed a gem. I hope many CES people speak up and participate!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for setting up this Blog. Very "to the point".
Would like to remind everyone that our PTA is an organization of ALL families who have joined. I would urge those with leadership rolls within this organization to refrain from speaking on behalf of others( unless it is a voted agreement)and to treat EVERYONE with the respect they deserve.

Tanya Choppy said...

I, as a parent of a Clarksville student, have spoken out about MY feelings and not the PTA's views. Although I am a leader in the PTA I have not spoken out one way or the other as a representative of the PTA and I thought that I made that fact clear. If I have not made that clear then please allow me to state for the record, the PTA of Clarksville is NOT endorsing any side of this agrument. We, as a PTA, represent all of our members, and all of our members have varying opinions and feelings on this subject. I hope that no one feels they have been treated disrespectfully. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Tanya,
You have been very open and up front and at all of the meetings. You have demonstrated a compassion towards all who are invovled. You have treated everyone with respect.Thank you for taking the time to respond.
The comment was not directed towards you.

Tanya Choppy said...

Anyone who attended last night's meeting knows that Dr. Tebbano has added Elsmere to list for possible closure. I would like to ask, as a parent, and as a member of the Bethlehem School District community, that everyone who has a comment to PLEASE keep in mind that the Elsmere community, too, is a community who loves their school and their teachers. This should not be an attack on them or their characters as I am sure they will treat us with the same respectability. If we can keep the facts in this and the emotion out of it, we may have a shot. I hope that no one is offended by my request as currently everyone has been respectful, I just want to send out that reminder. Thank you.

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