In 2009, following failure of a bond measure for a new high school, I had the opportunity to assist the Ridgefield School District with a visioning process for the district. As part of that process, the school superintendent, a school board member, and I interviewed 25 citizens, community leaders, teachers, and students to help understand the community’s vision for Ridgefield schools. We wanted to help the district leadership craft a bond measure that reflected the community’s values.
This process included workshops and a community meeting. The message from the stakeholders was unambiguous: Invest in existing facilities, provide benefits to all students at all grade levels, and improve existing athletic venues. The bond measure in February accomplishes these objectives. It invests in all facilities and makes critical improvements to traffic and student safety. It will increase student learning opportunities with more classroom and curriculum space. It is also a practical and frugal measure and respectful of the current economic situation.
Beginning in spring of this year, there were continued opportunities for public involvement and public comment, both through district public forums and meetings sponsored by Citizens for Ridgefield Schools.
The time for debate is past; we need to invest in our schools.