By Tiffany Vaillancourt
Special to Rosemont Patch
I just got word of some very disturbing news regarding my children's school. I’ve been informed that the school that my son and daughter currently attend, James Marshall Elementary, has been put on a list of schools slated to be closed next year. I am both shocked and outraged over this decision. I along with quite a number of other California voters went to the polls in November to support and approve Prop 30 in order to prevent school closures and teacher layoffs. The whole point of this tax increase was to keep schools open and keep teachers in the classroom. I’m left feeling as though someone has pulled a fast one on me and I’m sure my fellow voters will feel the same way.
We were excited to move to our home and the Rosemont area because we found out our children would be attending James Marshall who has been an excellent school. The staff, teachers and principal make this a school that the kids want to be at. They helped us get our son who is special needs enrolled very easily, his teacher has been more than anything we could ever dream of and his biggest cheerleader. Now to have to explain to him that not only do we not know where you plan to send him but to also lose his safety net at the school is just unthinkable.
I could never express to the school staff and teachers how much easier they made the transition for a very scared 5-year-old old with autism. His teacher made him feel welcomed and for the first time in almost six months I was able to leave him in his class without having to stay the whole day. That is how much progress they made with him in one day and now three and a half years later he is thriving and looking to mainstreamed for half the day in a regular classroom.
To me I don't think we would have gotten as far as we had at any other school. My husband and I refuse to send either of our children to A.M. Winn- after reading the reviews and talking to other parents we found the school to be both educationally substandard and filthy. We specifically chose James Marshall for our kids. I am appalled that such a poor quality, under-achieving school such as A.M. Winn, but no efforts are being considered to spare James Marshall – a much higher quality school.
It is my top priority that both my children receive a quality education and that my autistic son receive everything he needs, and on that I will make absolutely no compromise whatsoever. If you close James Marshall we will homeschool our children. James Marshall is a quality school with quality teachers and if you really cared about the education of the children, instead of closing James Marshall because it is not operating at capacity, you would focus more of your efforts towards closing the low-quality schools in the surrounding area and send them to James Marshall to bring it to capacity. I want you to know that I will not go quietly on this. You can expect to see and hear more from me. I will be at the meeting [Thursday] night and I will be very vocal.
I’m going to make every effort to use the media. I’m going to rile up the masses and stir up as many bee hives as I need to. I am going to fight this to the very end. I am going to call whoever I need to call and write whoever I have to write as often as necessary. It makes absolutely no sense to be closing good schools while keeping bad schools open – NONE! I’m going to be a thorn in your side, because this is a bad decision and you need to reconsider it.
Mother to Adam and Megan