Dear Wellesley Residents,
I am writing in support of rebuilding two new schools for our youngest learners. As a strong supporter of neighborhood schools I was opposed to closing any of the HHU schools. It is extremely important to be united so we don’t lose two neighborhood schools. Please make voting on Tuesday for Hardy and Hunnewell a priority.
When my husband and I moved here in 2001 it was appalling to see the condition of these schools. I was convinced the town would do something soon. Twenty years later the rebuilding of these schools is far overdue. For many years we enjoyed lower taxes while we ignored our oldest school buildings. Kudos to the FMD for keeping them running after inheriting them back in 2012. Why were these buildings not a priority for our town back in 2000 or earlier?
As a supporter of neighborhood schools, schools that foster tight knit relationships with their communities, closing two schools is not the right move. School enrollment decline never happens evenly. If both schools do not pass we will end up busing students all over town (no school will be unaffected) to even out the enrollment. But honestly, who are we kidding, the majority of parents will drive their kids to school, we do now. So, in addition to added busing costs, we will have added traffic. We also need to take into consideration that now, more than ever, kids need consistency not yearly redistricting. These schools are for the children, not the parents or the school administration.
In closing, two of our largest special education programs will be housed in these new buildings. This is partly the reason the new schools are designed the way they are. Five schools will not have the space to accommodate these programs. We will be forced to continue operating one of the old schools in its current condition. Reducing our schools from 7 to 5 is not as easy as less kids = less schools. Over the years some of us had children at overcrowded schools, we know enrollment ebbs and flows. We need to be making decisions on schools that will last us 50 years or maybe even 100 if you acknowledge Hardy’s lifespan. Wrong decisions now will cost us down the road; that is a lesson we all should have learned by now.
Please vote in favor of these two new elementary schools on 12/7/21.
TMM Precinct A
Former Hardy PTO co-president 2014-2015