Recently we received a very upsetting letter from White River School District Superintendent Tom Lockyer about serious budget cuts for the district due to the changes to I-728. One possibility that has been put forth is the closing of Wickersham School of Discovery.
For two years my daughter has attended Wickersham and has loved every minute of her time in school. As soon as she started, the whole school welcomed us as newly found family members. Very quickly we discovered that this school is very unique in that it is a community and all of the teachers contribute to the student’s education from the very first day. Within a week every teacher knew my daughter’s name and would say “Good Morning Emma.” I would witness as children who were in third grade would gladly help any kindergartener without being told to. This is not what I expected or what I experienced when I went to primary school. All of the children that attended Wickersham look forward to school, I have on more than one occasion seen kids upset because they had to take a day off, for whatever reason, and they would not be able to see their friends (who include the teachers and principal). Mrs. Rembert, the principal, is accosted daily by several kids for a hug and a quick “see what I did.”
This community has proven itself as evidenced by the exemplary WASL scores.
Many of the parents have sat down to talk about what to do about the closing of the school, during those conversations many have expressed that if their kids are unable to attend Wickersham they will be forced to homeschool or even find a private school. Currently a waiting list exists for kids to start at Wickersham and I know that for as long as the school continues along its current path the wait list will remain.
Please help us by attending the town hall meeting scheduled for Jan. 13, 2009, at 7 p.m. in the gym. Our community needs this school, students of supreme quality are being made here and they should not be cheated out of the wonderful educational environment that has been carefully fostered and nurtured at Wickersham.
Brian C. Lenz
Involvement may be key to saving school
I am writing to express my concern as a taxpayer and a parent in the White River School District.
I am aware of Gov. Gregoire’s proposed budget and the challenges it presents to school districts. However, I feel very strongly that the district should not be looking at closing Wickersham School of Discovery but modeling other schools in our district after Wickersham.
Parent involvement may be one key to saving our school district.
Wickersham School of Discovery is a tremendous asset to this district. This community is fortunate to have a school of choice option, with emphasis on the arts, parent involvement and progressive learning. The students, staff and parents at Wickersham have created a caring community that nurtures lifelong learners. Test scores clearly reflect the success of this model.
I am a product of public schools and I hope to continue educating my child within the public school system. However, I am concerned that if the dist rict closes Wickersham School of Discovery, many parents like myself will be looking at educational alternatives outside the district.
We need to work together as a district to find solutions to our budget cuts.
• Parent involvement within all schools
• A plea to others in our community: seniors and other volunteers
• Sponsors through local and large corporations to help with operating costs or to sponsor a program.
• Teachers and staff education in obtaining grants.
Overcrowding our class-rooms and reducing our ability to teach children to their capabilities or to their grade level is not the answer.
Superintendent Lockyer will be addressing the PTA at 7 p.m. on Jan. 13 in the Wickersham gym. I will be attending this meeting and I hope to see you there as well so we! can wo rk together to find solutions to our budget crisis.
Jack and Laura McCarthy
While I find myself somewhat sympathetic to the sentiments expressed by George Terhaar in his recent letter, I believe he has misplaced a large part of his ire.
Beginning with “We the people” and continuing with “government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” our system of government has its basis is the ultimate responsibility if its citizens to govern. Although George correctly points out that the approval rating of Congress is only about 10 percent, each of its members enjoyed at least a 50 percent-plus-1 approval rating and must maintain that rating or be removed. Thus, Congress may be despised but all of the members are pretty popular with their constituents.
We should all remember that out founding fathers created a republic, a system in which Joe Citizen is responsible for choosing wise and effective representatives of his point of view. If our Congress is feckless it is because of the fecklessness of Joe Citizen and George should shift his aim to the true villain.
Sadly, when 30 percent or more of our voters believe weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, Saddam was involved in 9/11 and Obama is a Muslim, I hold little hope that Congress will be improved.