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Windsor Wants Input on Schools ‘Mission’

Windsor — The School Board, recognizing the economic and demographic changes that have affected area schools in recent years, wants input from the public to help in designing the district’s next mission statement.

“It has been at least 10 years since our mission statement was created through a collaboration with teachers, administrators and community members,” Windsor School Board Chairwoman Amy McMullen said Tuesday. “Now, we would like to look again at what the community wants for its schools.”

A forum planned for Monday, Nov. 11, which McMullen termed a “community conversation,” comes as Windsor’s schools have undergone staff reductions in the face of declining enrollment. When the high school was built in 1996, Windsor’s K-12 schools had roughly 800 students. Now it has about 500.

In August, Bridget Fariel, the principal of State Street Elementary School, became the principal for the entire K-12 system in Windsor.

The key issue that McMullen said the board and district want to explore in updating the mission statement is how students should be prepared for the world beyond classroom.

“What do (parents) feel are the important attributes students should have upon graduation to make them contributing members of a complex global society,” she said, adding that the issue is relevant for all Windsor residents, not solely those with children in the school system.

McMullen said the idea to hold a forum was inspired by the last time the School Board had a difficult issue before voters. Last January, when the budget proposed cuts and restructuring of programs, the public turned out at board meetings to both object and get a better understanding of what the impact would be.

“In light of that input, we decided to have this forum, outside of the budget presentation,” she said. “We would like to have this discussion so we have clearer direction.”

The other three school districts in the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union — Hartland, Weathersfield and West Windsor — also have met to develop a strategic plan for the district, McMullen said.

“It is the first of several forums with other schools to see what we want for the individual schools and what we have in common,” she said.

Windsor has the only high school in the district. Weathersfield and Hartland serve grades K-8 and West Windsor’s Albert Bridge School is for grades K-6.

The forum is in Room 210 of the high school, where regular board meetings are held, and begins at 6:30 p.m.

“I am hoping there are so many people that we will have to move to a larger room,” McMullen said.

Childcare is available and light refreshments will be served.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at ogrady56@yahoo.com.

CLARIFICATION

The Windsor School Board is holding a public forum to discuss a strategic plan for the schools on Monday, Nov. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 210 of Windsor High School. The date was omitted in an earlier version of this story.

Related

Letter: Community Forum on Windsor Schools

Friday, November 8, 2013

To the Editor: The Windsor School Board would like to invite the Windsor community, as well as those communities who send students to the Windsor School District, to a community forum on Monday, Nov. 11, at 6:30 p.m. We also encourage students and teachers to attend. We will be reviewing our current mission and vision statement and making necessary changes. …