Friday March 22, 2013

An open letter to Lenox faculty, staff and community.

The Lenox School Committee is elected to represent the interests of the school children, faculty, staff, and citizens that fund public education in the town of Lenox. In representing these interests, we must look at the present, the future, and uphold the best of the past.

Lately, the Lenox School Committee has been discussing the need for a first-ever Strategic Plan for our school district. Our committee has agreed that a plan of this magnitude must involve all constituents of our town and community. Within the next month or so, a framework for a Strategic Plan will be presented to the full School Committee by the subcommittee for Strategic Planning. This subcommittee has been meeting regularly since October.

As part of our strategic discussions that will be vetted throughout our community, the topics of school choice, remaining a municipal school system, regionalization, the costs of public education, and town government efficiencies are bound to come up. In reality, no strategic discussion can be complete without fully vetting these topic areas which continue to come up each year. The fiduciary responsibilities of the School Committee are taken very seriously by all seven members. If a school budget is the vehicle that delivers quality education to our children, then we all must be part of the discussion about what that vehicle looks like, its capacity to transport, and what model vehicle we can all agree on.

For the record, please know that the Lenox School Committee is in the very beginning stages of simply discussing a framework to enable all of Lenox to have these discussions. No decisions of any kind have been made at all. We believe in full transparency and want our entire town and community to be able weigh in on these important matters.

Public work is important business. We do it because we have a passion for serving our children and our community. As volunteers, we hope the community will join us in discussion the future of Lenox Public Schools, and Lenox as a community of lifelong learners.

DON FITZGERALD

Lenox

The writer is chairman, Lenox School Committee.