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Reactions to Possible Regionalization of K-12 in Amity

Residents share their opinions about whether they think it makes sense to further regionalize the tri-town Amity School District. What do you think?


Should the Amity School District be further regionalized to include all grades from K-12?

That's the question school administrators from Bethany, Woodbridge and Orange are considering as they look at enrollment trends. The three towns currently have regionalized public education for middle and high school students.

As the towns begin the process of exploring the possibility of further regionalization, residents shared their thoughts. Here's what some had to say:

From Bethwood Patch:

  • Sue Ellen: Finally, something that makes perfect sense - do it!
  • Lisa: Even though it would be of little benefit to my elementary-school aged son, as he will enter the Amity district in less than 2 years, this is absolutely the smartest thing I've heard in a very long time!!!
  • Jennifer M: I am OK with the consideration, although reluctant if it means my children (just starting to enter the Bethany elementary school) would have to be bussed to another town.
  • C Young: Bad idea. What's so bad about a smaller student-teacher ratio or having more free space in existing educational structures? On a state or national level, no program has ever gotten better or been better run/ more accountable via "regionalization." why not use it as an opportunity to give our kids more rather than merge them into more crowded educational environments? We're not really talking about lowering our taxes are we, but rather shifting spending from our children's education to some other (what's more important!?) interest. Our town's educational system is far from broken ... to the contrary. So why start taking it apart!? The governor is actively seeking to spend less on our kids' education. This "regionalization" notion comes from Hartford. Regionalizing will result in dramatic diversion of funds from our Orange kids' education. The plan is to regionalize (results in fewer schools, so less $ from the state), then cut spending on education even more. The result is our kids get short-changed by more short-sighted fiscal gross mismanagement.

From Orange Patch:

  • steve: Need more details, this may be a practical solution give the population trends.
  • Lindy R. Urso: If you look over the long term, populations consistently rise and fall. In my town, they couldn't wait to close up one school and sell it off because population went down. Then about 5 years later, they scrambled to put additions on two of the remaining schools because, lo and behold, the population went back up. Why are towns incessantly shortsighted?
  • Jeanne P. Esposito: The first thing that came to mind was the possible longer bus routes for the younger children. Woodbridge is more central. Would that mean that most of the grade schools ( K-6 ) would necessarily be in that town ? This idea sounds fiscally sound but my concerns are for the children who already have a long day and pretty heavy work loads. Extra curricular sports and activities may be difficult to manage with the time constraints. Some children need these outlets to release energy and develop life skills.
    This plan needs much consideration and evaluation. Hopefully, we will hear about how it has been used in other communities with the same area coverage.

What do you think?

Jessie Brown December 11, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I just asked an Orange Board of Ed member about it. He said they were not informed about it although their newly elected chair, Keith Marquis, attended the meeting but never asked the Board for input. How does that happen?
Gary Jeanfaivre December 11, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Good question, Jessie. We'll take a closer look into Orange's stance and involvement on this matter and report back. In the meantime, I wanted to share a comment from a Bethwood Patch reader: WoodbridgeWatch: "This is a start, but there should be more interaction between the communities which all send their kids to high school together. If the plan is to keep it that way- and i assume it is, then some form of community to community network would be a great idea. [elementary level sports?] My son was stunned to find nearly [or more] than 1/2 the students he encountered freshman year were from Orange and Bethany and they were total strangers."

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