In response to Orf letter

To the editor

It’s always amazing to me that people continue to suggest that the school board and district “have it out for us.” What possible reason would they have for driving the school district into the ground?  It seems to me if they destroy our schools, they also endanger their own livelihoods. Does Mr. Orf honestly believe that all of the community members who work in our schools want to see our town deteriorate?  We have wonderful teachers who go out of their way to help our students succeed, sometimes under very difficult circumstances.

While I haven’t always agreed with every decision made, no one can deny that our school district has kept the public informed about what is going on in our schools.  Superintendent Henton has repeatedly submitted columns encouraging anyone with questions to contact her directly. You can go on the school district website and look at all the board materials and minutes, along with financials. You can attend school board meetings.  You can listen to the podcasts of the meetings.  The district holds community meetings on important issues to inform and get input.  Turnout is usually low.  I’m also guilty of not showing up at these meetings, but I try to keep up to date by reading the information on the district website.  It’s easy to put blinders up and spread rumors, but takes a little more effort to seek out the facts.

The problems our district has are due to many factors, a lot of which are out of the control of the district.

Whether it’s right or wrong to continue with a four-day week is open to opinion, I suppose, but the fact is it is saving the district money. I know one thing, though: inflammatory statements accusing people of being nothing short of hell bent on the destruction of our school district and town certainly don’t help anyone. It would be better if all that energy were put toward helping to make things better.

Judi Fitcha

North Branch

  • Judi Fitcha

    The rest of the third paragraph of my letter to the editor:

    The problems our district has are due to many factors, a lot of which are out of the control of the district. School funding formulas need a serious overhaul. The district has tried to keep the public informed about their efforts to get the state legislature to change funding formulas. They encouraged residents to become engaged and contact their legislators. The financial future of the schools certainly looks bleak given the projected deficits for the next 4-5 years. I don’t know what the answer is, but perhaps the school district and town could work more closely together for their mutual benefit. Whatever the reason is for the lack of growth in North Branch, it’s most probably something that needs the efforts of both the school district and the town.

  • Sarah Jurick

    I agree with Judy, what possible motive does the school district have to “punish” the citizens of North Branch. It is laughable to read the comments from people such as Mr Orf.

    I have taken my kids out the the North Branch school district. I loved the teachers, I supported the school board and the Administration. My reason was simple. I will not raise my kids in a town where a levy will never pass and the majority of the citizens will not support the children of North Branch.

    A writer in response to Mr Orf writes that she feels her kids deserve five days of education. ABSOLUTELY. They also deserve smaller class sizes, affordable extra curricular events, and a vast choice of elective classes. This starts with a community that will come together to solve the issues with the school district.

    I highly doubt that the reason folks are not willing to come to North Branch rests solely or even highly on the fact of the 4 day school week. My kids LOVED it and so did I. We miss it. What we don’t miss is the negativity that spewed from the comments in the halls and parking lots on voting day. I don’t miss the ridiculous letters that were posted on this website after the results of the levy were posted.

    I hope your town will thrive in the future, but without a thriving school district this outcome is not very realistic.