Two of my kids went to Wildflower, and one of them attended CentraL and then after its closure, South Nelson. I have had my feet in both mainstream and alternative learning environments and they were both super for my kids and our family. Each school had a strong community of parents and teachers working together.
I think what I find so upsetting about Olindo Chiocca’s letter is that it is uninformed and divisive. I know, it’s an opinion and he is welcome to it, but to take a couple of quotes from an article and spiral off irrationally all the way to comparisons with the racial segregation in the Southern US, is simply hurtful.
If there was ever a time for the schools in our district to come together and find solutions to preserve every school’s community, it is now. Wildflower and South Nelson are currently doing just that; working to maintain each school’s integrity and individuality, and I applaud their efforts.
Work together, formulate a plan, provide the Board with facts and projections, preserve your school’s integrity and community, regardless of which school your family is a part of. I don’t know where Olindo’s son goes to school and whether that school is in jeopardy within the current public school climate, but if if it is, please talk to your PAC, your teachers, your fellow parents and find out how to better spend your energy to help the cause.
We are all in the same boat.
Singling out a school that is different from other schools and accusing it of being different and wanting to preserve that difference is counterproductive and unkind.
Please have some compassion for those parents and teachers on the front lines, putting in countless hours to keep these options open within our public school system. Emotions are running high and what is quoted in a newspaper article may not be accurate or in the full context of what those individual parents are going through in that moment.
Wildflower was started by parents independently, and the school district recognized the value of including its diversity as an option for everyone in the district. It could have developed into an independent school; if that was the case, today only folks that could afford the tuition would be attending. It has a wait list for a reason — it’s what many families want for their kids. It’s a choice available all families. It’s not elite or a “club,” it’s actually the opposite — a very successful alternative option within our public school system.
Eva McKimm, Wildflower Parent Alumni