November 23, 2014
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LETTERS
Eliminating ALAP punishes kids for being smart

An Open Letter to the Warwick School Committee and Superintendent D’Agostino

My name is Liza Glick and I have two children in the Warwick School System. My oldest is 12 and moving onto junior high school next year, and my youngest is 9, entering 4th grade at Greenwood Elementary next year. 

At the end of last year, my youngest, Morgan, was accepted into the ALAP program for the coming school year. When I tell you that she was excited, wouldn’t even begin to describe it. She was jumping up and down like it was Christmas when she found out and called everyone she knew to tell them. You see, Morgan is extremely bright, but because of it, she is also extremely bored at school usually. She brings home almost straight A’s and gets 100 on almost every test with very little effort. School is not a challenge for her, so we were all excited that she might now have the challenges she so wants and needs with her acceptance into ALAP.

She has already spent the first few weeks of her summer working on her summer assignments for ALAP. In one week, she completed over 2,000 math problems and wrote a book report. She craves these challenges and thrives when she has them. I have never seen her so happy or excited as when she was doing this work. She talks about how excited she is for ALAP next year and even has “I Love ALAP” written on a whiteboard in her bedroom. 

However, today I have to go home and tell my daughter that the program she so dearly loves already is gone and I am devastated by this. She is going to be completely crushed over this and I am in tears as her parent knowing how much this will hurt her. As a 9-year-old, she cannot possibly understand the “politics” of this and to be honest, as a 40-year-old, neither can I. 

We spend so much time, money and effort on the students that struggle in our schools, but what about the brightest students? What do we do for them? These kids are our future, a future that can be very bright if we nurture and allow their potential to flourish. Programs like ALAP would do that for them, but instead we cut them so they are made to feel “punished” for being smart and not needing the “special help” programs. If I were one of those kids, I would begin to feel like “why bother” and to be honest with you; I wouldn’t blame them one bit for feeling that way. 

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE reconsider your decision to cut this program. Our children need this program and need the challenges that it provides for them. If parent volunteers would help, I will volunteer to help, whatever it takes. 

If this program is not reinstated, I will seriously be considering taking my daughter out of the Warwick School District and either moving her to private school or moving my family to another town more conducive to her learning needs. I will not have her “punished” or her abilities wasted over a ridiculous $300,000 cut. She is worth more than that; all our children are worth more than that.

Please do not take this opportunity away from my daughter or any of the other 300 children who so love this program and this school district!

Liza Glick

Warwick


Comments
1 comment on this item

It seems as if ALAP has been cut. I expected the School Committee to meet to discuss it. I guess they chose not to even look into it. At first they said there was no money in the budget but then they said they had the money but didn't want to fund a program that helped so few, .5% of the children. The numbers were off. .5% of the children would be 50 kids, the same number as a football team. The sports programs gets $90,000 for referees, $45K for Ice Rink Rental, $12K for Pool rental, uniforms, 63,000, etc. ALAP required only 2.5 Teachers, a cost of approximately $180,000. Sports rates higher than education apparently.

When I was on the school committee, I was the committee member most knowledgable with technology and IT information. I reviewed the current budget. The IT software budget was increased after I left from $336,000 a year to $669,000 a year. This is DOUBLE THE BUDGETED AMOUNT IN 1 YEAR! Do your kids have all new computers in school? Do they all have new ipads and/or tablets?

Why did the School Committee let the IT department run amok with their budget? Why did NOT ONE MEMBER of the committee question the request for DOUBLE the IT budget? Why would they approve a budget for any department to be DOUBLE? Why is no one questioning this? If the Police Dept doubled their budget would it be questioned? The fire Dept?

There would be more than enough money in the budget for great programs like ALAP in the schools if the committee didn't approve absurd requests like twice the amount of the previous year. Demand that your child get more computers in schools with twice the funding for IT.

Please note, the computers that were installed in the schools last year were purchased with the previous year budget not the increased amount. The IT department should be completely outsourced in my opinion.

Contracted Nursing Services in 2010, $183K. Nursing services in 2012...$304K, in 2013.... $446,244.

Transportation costs also went from $4.6 Million to $6 Million. Is ANYONE asking why?

Here is a link to the School Budget. Do you see anything that should be questioned?

http://webmail.warwickschools.org/scpublicdocs/FOV1-0005CEAD/

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