LETTER: Send the message: Rockford supports its schools

To the Editor:

My husband Dave and I have been Greenfield residents for 31 years. Our children were educated in the Rockford School District and have gone on to become successful adults.

Superintendent Paul Durand made a statement in a meeting I attended that really made me think. He made the point that a community’s residents will get the school district they want, as they authorize the resources available for education. Although we have been retired for several years, we still feel it is crucial to support this bond issue for the following reasons:

The pride of our community is linked to the success of our school system.

Our district’s students gauge the community’s support for them by the way we support our school system.

Our property values are tied to the ability of the school system to attract and keep its residents.

Our district’s schools require necessary repairs in order to remain viable. Heating, plumbing, and general maintenance are not optional improvements.

We currently have a track that in unusable. We have tennis courts that are too dangerous to play on. What does it tell our students when we will not pay for these repairs? What does it tell outside parents when our teams need to find other places to practice?

Is artificial turf on the football field your sticking point? Is that too much of a luxury for our kids? Well, repairing the track requires that the football field be replaced. Replacing the sod would render our football field unusable for a period of time. Busing kids to football fields for practice and scheduling all games away is a costly and very inconvenient prospect.

Some of us look back and complain that we had large classes or crumbling schools and we turned out okay. But parents now have options in where their children attend school. Parents make the decision of where to purchase a home based on the quality of the school system.

I hope our district’s residents want a school system they can be proud of. I hope we approve the bond issue and send the message that Rockford supports its schools and its young people.

Gail Swanson