LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Barbara Skaar Should Get Your Vote
A letter from Carol Kelly-Suleski.
To the editor:
In a letter to the School Committee dated January 28th, five months after the start of the academic year, I cited some examples of one school building’s poor conditions:
*Student bathrooms that hadn’t been cleaned in weeks.
*Dust bunnies that had been living out in the open for months.
*Classrooms and hallways that weren’t swept during the December break –
so teachers and students returned to a dirty learning space after vacation.
And one more very specific example:
*The new custodial staff could not keep bathrooms adequately stocked with toilet
paper, so Aramark installed four-roll dispensers. In at least two bathrooms I
know of, the piles of dust created by drilling for the new dispensers literally sat for
weeks, and were finally cleaned only after I and another teacher sent the
principal multiple emails.
I respect and value the work and responsibilities of our School Committee, so I specifically chose to write directly to them (as opposed to an open letter to the newspapers.) Unfortunately not one member of the sitting Committee took a moment to acknowledge my letter, to admit to any problems, or to reassure me that they were working to resolve parents’, teachers’ and administrators’ concerns.
In a letter to the Independent on March 22 Thomas Gilroy writes, “… (DiSilvio) has stood … against the Teachers Union…and against the Custodians Union…” Mr. DiSilvio strongly advocated to outsource the schools’ custodial services. It hasn’t gone well. And not only does it bother me that some of our buildings are not sufficiently cleaned on a daily basis, but it disturbs me to know that some of the custodians who lost their jobs are residents of Chelmsford – newly unemployed neighbors during difficult economic times.
Outsourcing the care of the school buildings was not the right answer for our Community.
Barbara Skaar may be a write-in candidate, but she’s no newcomer on the scene. Having worked with Barbara on several committees, I know Barbara would haveimmediately been in touch to acknowledge my January letter, and to listen to my concerns. I know she will listen to yours.
Barbara Skaar is a longtime supporter of our schools. During her extended time as President of the Council of Chelmsford Schools, she has already been working to bring Chelmsford’s concerns of inequitable Chapter 70 funding to the Statehouse. The wheels roll slowly there, and the powers that be won’t be bullied into making changes, but Barbara has displayed the endurance and patience needed to affect change - change our community deserves, and soon!
Please join me in writing Barbara Skaar’s name on the ballot for School Committee on Tuesday, April 3rd! I look forward to the positive outlook and professional skillset she will bring to Chelmsford’s School Committee.
Town Meeting Rep, precinct 5