Dear Fellow Educators,
We are writing to urge you to support the override for the town of Mendon on the May 12th annual election ballot or the town of Upton on the May 18th election ballot.
As residents, parents, and long serving educators in the Mendon-Upton Regional School District, we have seen our schools through good times and bad. It was not all that long ago that our district was commonly referred to as the jewel of the Blackstone Valley. The communities joined together to build a state of the art high school that was soon named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education during the 1999-2000 school year. The towns of Mendon and Upton propelled the district forward when they built a beautiful new elementary school in each town.
Unfortunately, this momentum did not last. Our district was hard hit by the economic downturn that began in 2009. Ultimately, the district had to slash staffing levels, which resulted in the laying off of over 60 teachers. Class sizes ballooned and programs were cut across the district.
One thing that never wavered was the commitment to our students. In 2011, the district hired a new superintendent with a clear vision that would return the district to innovation and excellence. Since 2011, our district, together with all stakeholders from Mendon and Upton, crafted a strategic plan that continues to move us forward. At all levels, class sizes are highly conducive to student learning and the district remains in the top 20% statewide in student performance. Outstanding extracurricular and co-curricular offerings in the visual and performing arts, STEAM, and athletics also distinguish the Mendon-Upton schools.
The Mendon-Upton Regional School District is truly at a crossroads. Maintaining the district’s momentum – and moving it forward – could be in jeopardy. Resources from the state are diminishing and the present funding formula is driving our communities to contribute more to K-12 public education. Without approval of a Proposition 2 1/2 override in both Mendon and Upton, cuts to staffing and programming would be devastating to our children, the school system, and property values in our communities.
Please vote YES in support of public education on May 12th in Mendon or May 18th in Upton. Please also help us out by going to the Forward ’15 website at www.forward15.org and including yourself on the “Supporters” list there. Thank you for your support!
Marie Brigham and Alice Gentili
Mendon – Upton Regional Teachers Association