Posted by David N Gentile at 3/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
(Hello: Today I met with many of the parents of our students who attend the RD Wood School. I delivered the following message. I want to thank all of the parents who were able to attend. I enjoyed talking with many of you after the meeting. Again, we will do everything we can to support our students transition.)
I appreciate your taking time to join us for this important announcement regarding the state of the school district’s budget. I have had the pleasure of being the district superintendent for the past 7 years. I grew up in Millville and I love this City. For the past 7 years, the state has cut financial support for our district by approximately 23 million dollars through flat funding. As a result, we have made cuts in order to balance the budget. Each year the fear that we would need to close a school worried all of us. Each year, I fought along with the district staff to put this off just one more year. Today, the reality of our financial situation is coming home.
It is with a heavy heart that I share the district’s decision to close RD Wood Elementary School at the end of this year. As a parent, the first question that I would have is “how will this impact my child”. Let me be absolutely clear, your child will continue to receive an excellent education. We will release updated school assignments for next year where your children will be assigned to one of our other elementary schools. They will receive transportation, and they will continue to flourish. The second question I would have is what happens to the staff of Wood School. We all know how dedicated and caring this staff is. I can tell you many of the teaching staff at Wood School will simply join other schools in the district. They will continue to serve this community as they have for the past 100 years.
The last question I would anticipate, is why Wood School? The answer comes down to a few key reasons. The age and condition of the building, Wood School also has the smallest enrollment due to school choice and other factors. This was a terribly difficult decision for the district and one we hoped we would never have to make. Until the state begins to fund public education again, I am concerned about what next year may bring. The district will be releasing your child’s assignment for the 2017-2018 school year as early as possible. The memories made in this building will last and the traditions of Wood School will endure.