Editor's note: The following letter was received in response to the March 7, 2012 editorial, "Time to close Orleans Elementary School?"
To the Editor:
I read your editorial on closing OES and while many of the issues you brought up are quite valid and call attention to the fact that there needs to be changes I found the piece to be extremely inflammatory and you did little to no research in regards to what actually makes Orleans Elementary a special place.
Current class sizes are 16-17 students ( I have 2 daughters and that is the size of each of there classes) which is a number not significantly different than other elementary schools on the Lower Cape. As a fiscal conservative, I too wonder about administrative costs but after looking at the next year's budget one of the highest costs is the special needs allotment which is state mandated and costs the school a huge portion of the budget but you don't make any mention of that in your piece.
You also failed to research that OES has one of the highest participation rates amongst families and parents with large numbers of parents donating valuable time to chaperone events and share their skills with the student body. Our wellness fair that had over 200 people participate is proof positive of that.
And on one last note before you start riling up Orleans taxpayers, OES is ALL young families in Orleans have. Towns like Truro and Harwich all have lovely Community and Rec centers attached to their COA's promoting shared resources and proper utilization of community funds. Orleans has none of this, our COA is its own entity and shares nothing with the community at large other than a place to vote. So perhaps there is actually a whole host of issues for which Orleans taxpayers, myself included should get "Mad as Hell about."
Heather Kroll Bailey