To the editor:
I am writing this … as a very concerned community member of Fox Ridge. As a result of recent news that the board has proposed regarding the elementary zones, I am left with many questions and feelings of frustration, confusion and fear.
I recently moved to St. Charles roughly one year ago. I am happily married with two children, one of which is enrolled in kindergarten at Fox Ridge, while the other will be attending next year.
Although many decisions are contemplated when moving to a new house, the school system by far carries the most weight. Being a member of Fox Ridge Elementary is something that my wife and I are proud of and continue to praise. Proud that we’ve worked so hard to get our family in this position and continue to praise the amazing staff and programs the school provides the community. With this recent proposal, you (the board), have single-handly crushed our spirit.
As noted above, my wife and I have an extraordinary work ethic. A work ethic that has provided a home in Fox Ridge and most importantly, an amazing school for our children. My wife and I work for our children. We work to put them in the safest and best position to succeed. We pay over $12,000 in taxes. But that is okay because we know those tax dollars are providing our children the best opportunity to succeed in an amazing school.
I don’t know much about Lincoln. However, I do know that Fox Ridge is an exceptional school. The school, the staff and the students far exceed our expectations with programs that include all day kindergarten; local baker station capabilities; the right to attend Wredling; ADA compliance … the list is long. This move to Lincoln also reduces the ability for our teachers to collaborate effectively and efficiently. There are only 11 academic classrooms at Lincoln, in contrast to the 22 at Fox Ridge and other elementary schools in the district. The board should be supporting our teachers, not making it more difficult for them to provide the quality education our kids deserve.
To my knowledge, Lincoln does not extend these programs in-house. The proposal is negatively impacting our community, our taxpayers, but most importantly, our families. We are families that help each other out. By implementing these new zones, the school board is removing that aspect of our community. As it stands now, my children can potentially be going to different schools, on extended bus rides, with students not from our immediate-surrounding neighborhoods. This may not seem like a material change. For us and our children, the school board has flipped our universe upside-down.
I write this not to shed negative light on Lincoln, but to shed a bright light on Fox Ridge and our community. We will not stand to be adversely impacted. And to be candid, our tax dollars do not support a decision that appears to be filled with self-incentive.
Through this news I have learned that our community is stronger than ever. Through daily meetings and organization, we are coordinating to put a stop to this proposal and feel confident that we will succeed through any measure we deem appropriate. The avenue of taking legal action and using outside counsel has been discussed and our community is prepared if we deem necessary.
I kindly ask that you listen to the families that are being impacted and dispose of this proposal. I respect that the board has to make difficult decisions. Rarely do these decisions produce a win-win outcome. However, the merits of the school board's proposal and timing – one month before registration – leave me to believe that the board is not acting in the best interest of the community, and in fact, acting with negligence and misconduct. The emails we have received have indicated this proposal has been heavily discussed and agreed-upon, which is worrisome for many reasons.