To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to Alton School Board members:
I am appealing to you to set aside personal differences and come together to tackle the job for which we were elected. Please join me in supporting Peter Leavitt as the next chair of the board.
The reputation, working climate and future of ACS have been worsening at a rapid pace and now is the time to address these challenges. The New Hampshire School Boards Association states that, no one member, whether chair, vice chair, elected or appointed, has any more power or control than another member. Because of this, there should be no concern in electing Peter as chair.
Naturally some of you reading this are thinking, "If that's true, then why not simply support Mr. Miller as chair and move on?" Let's refer back to the reputation, working climate and future of ACS. While I am not implying that the current state of the school is the fault of Mr. Miller, what I am suggesting is that based on past experience, we can see that the path to the future must be different. We have community members, parents and staff who are frustrated and unhappy.
As Einstein once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." If Dr. Ward's statement that test scores have been flat for 10 years is true (I have not yet seen data to substantiate this) and if morale is deteriorating within the building, this will impact the quality of the education provided and the future of our children. Now is the time to try something new. Now is the time for a new approach for the Alton School Board.
Yes, there is much for new members to learn. To do this we must get back to holding meetings. We do not need all five members of the board present to hold a meeting. We need a quorum — three-fifths majority.
We are also not required to have the superintendent present to hold a meeting. We have an obligation to the School District and the taxpayers of Alton to hold regular public meetings and work on the business they have entrusted us to do. We must host these meetings at a time that is convenient for the public to attend.
People are still awaiting thorough responses from the February board meeting. A petition from community members to hold a March meeting was dismissed. Is two months an acceptable time frame to wait for answers to questions posed by the very people whose tax dollars pay our salaries? Should priorities of the school be held hostage? I don't think so.
Therefore, I am appealing to my fellow board members to come back to the table, support Peter Leavitt as chair, and let's get down to making this school what we know it can be.
I'm asking you to be part of something bigger than yourselves. I'm asking you to be part of a positive future. I'll be awaiting confirmation of the next scheduled meeting.
Michael Ball, Member
Alton School Board
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