I have three children currently enrolled at the Franklin County School and am terrified about their future. Not to mention, we now have open enrollment staring us in the face!

Our new principal, Mr. Clatto, has proposed many new programs for our children to help them excel in the school system and to keep them interested. These programs would change the entire outlook and standing of the school. Not only would they help our children in the learning process and help prepare them for further education, it would draw children from other school systems as they would enjoy going to school.

Here are a few of the proposed programs that Mr. Clatto and staff wanted to implement: Honors Academy, STEAM (STEAM is a way to teach how all things relate to each other, in school and in life. It’s more fun than traditional learning styles and makes more sense to all types of learners because it is based on the natural ways that people learn and are interested in things), Project Lead the Way (activity-, project-, and problem-based (APB) instructional design centers on hands-on, real-world activities, projects, and problems that help students understand how the knowledge and skills they develop in the classroom may be applied in everyday life), ROTC, Greenhouse, Aquaponics, Coding, Innovation labs, Robotics, Media Center/Flexible Learning Center (Labs) – which are the standard in any highly rated school, are just a few.

Were these programs denied? Why have we not started them so that our children can start improving their educations? Is it a money issue? Our children’s education is the most important thing there is and should take precedence above all. If that be the case, there are numerous grants available. Also, our school’s income would increase because of the new students during open enrollment. Furthermore, if it is a money issue, why was there roughly $15,000 spent to make over the superintendent’s and district office at Brown Elementary? Or why did the district purchase items such as shoes, school gear, jackets, and more for the students who were sent to Alternative School for Christmas?

I was at the Chamber of Commerce meeting when Mr. Clatto made the presentation for the new programs for the betterment of our children and he received a standing ovation. I was there when the school board was ecstatic about the same ideas. I also understand after speaking with numerous people that vast majority of the Franklin County School faculty/staff were in approval regarding the renovation of the current media center and turning it into a Flexible Learning Commons which would allow our school to catch up with other high-performing schools of today. Again, why do we not have them? We were given donor flyers at the Chamber of Commerce meeting that described these amazing spaces and opportunities. Our students deserve these type of opportunities in order to compete with other children!

I have heard several times now that the superintendent has stated that she will not renew Mr. Clatto’s contract next year. I’ve heard that there are a few our excellent teachers/staff who will not be coming back next year as they find it too difficult to watch our children suffer because the teachers/staff are “shut down” when they try to do anything to improve our children’s education. Is this what we really want? Are we going to have to hire yet another principal and lose one the best we have ever had?

I believe our children deserve the opportunity to better themselves and strive in the education system but we have some serious issues going on today. Please join me at the March 30 School Board meeting at 6pm to find out why the issues are plaguing the school.

Aaron Wray