We urge you to support the override on Tuesday, June 30.
As residents, parents, and long serving educators in the Mendon-Upton Regional School District, we have seen our schools through good times and bad. In good times, families flock to our communities in order that their children attend our schools. Children from neighboring towns “choice” into our schools in order to receive a top quality education. In good times, staff morale is high as educators, students, and community work together toward a shared vision of excellence.
During the failed override of 2010, the district slashed staffing levels and sixty educators were laid off. Others were cut to half time, in-effect forced to find positions in other towns in order to support their families. In an effort to help the district make ends meet, MURSD teachers agreed to give back their contractual raises, reduce all advancement increases (steps), eliminate compensation for additional educational attainment (lanes), and accept furlough days. Class sizes ballooned and programs were cut across the district, including many extra-curricular activities, which are important in shaping our students’ social skills and developing tolerance and teamwork. Despite these challenging times, our commitment to our students never wavered.
Since his appointment in 2011, MURSD superintendent Dr. Maruszczak has led the district with a clear vision of innovation and excellence. He has worked with elected officials and community members to develop a strategic plan to move the district forward with appropriate staffing and the responsible inclusion of technology. At all grade levels, class sizes are reasonable and the district remains in the top 20% statewide in student performance. Our students enjoy and benefit from several outstanding extracurricular and co-curricular offerings in the visual and performing arts, the Enrichment program, STEAM, and athletics. Staff morale is high and we are once again able to strive toward innovation and excellence in our work with our students.
We have made great gains in recuperating from the last failed override and are moving forward. We remember what backwards looks like. This Tuesday, Mendon voters have an opportunity to keep the district moving forward while enabling town services to continue at their present level. We urge you to vote YES.
Alice Gentili and Marie Brigham
Mendon – Upton Regional Teachers Association