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Parent supports Coventry schools

3/21/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I would like to submit this letter in response to the letter [by Hugh Weinberg] that appeared in the March 15 [2013] South Side News Leader [“Coventry resident urges ‘no’ vote on school levy, bond issue”].

Thank you, Mr. Weinberg, for attending the community meeting for the bond issue and the dismal future of our schools should it fail. It seems you gathered many snippets of information but failed to utilize the Q&A portion. You are correct that cost and construction provided more of an underlying theme than a major story line, but there were slides dedicated to those topics.

In your letter, you question [the] school officials’ strategies for passage of this issue by stating that in August the focus was on the state’s $11 million offer while the February campaign attempted to appeal to the emotions of the parents. You captured the marketing strategies of those two campaigns; however, it appears you misunderstand the newest campaign by stating that it centers around scare tactics and an “end run” around the real issues. [Superintendent] Mr. Russell Chaboudy explained numerous times that to stay financially solvent we must decrease expenditures or increase revenue. With the possibility that this important revenue-producing issue could again be ignored or defeated by voters, our administration is being forced to prepare not an “end run” but more of a full-blown defensive stand to protect the educational integrity of our school district for as long as they can.

In your letter, you discuss a new proficiency test and claim that because a percentage of Coventry Local School District (CLSD) students did not meet the standards in two subjects, our school district is failing to prepare students for college, yet you fail to provide credibility to that argument by sharing what percentage of students failed or how that percentage compares to other schools. CLSD is rated Excellent with Distinction and under new district grading is predicted to be one of the few school districts in Ohio capable of receiving a “B.”

Are our students being prepared for college? I can answer that on a personal level with a resounding yes. I have three children that attend(ed) Coventry Schools; two took advantage of post-secondary [classes] offered by Coventry and graduated as entering juniors at their choice colleges. My youngest is in a program called “Destination College,” a program that mentors students in college expectations. Two of my children participated in “Buckeye Boys State,” a statewide program educating them on the political, financial and social responsibilities involved in running a municipality. They were/are members of the National Honor Society, merit rolls, civic award winners, athletes, musicians and contributors to local charities. Yes, Mr. Weinberg, if a student is willing to put in the effort, the opportunities are available and nurtured at Coventry for success at the college level and beyond.

In your last paragraph you state “ … encouraging students to learn through collaboration with family, business and community.” Are those the same community members that throw noncollaborating roadblocks in front of every levy?

And finally, to expound on the last sentence of your letter; “Implement a vision for CLSD residents to attain a unique identity, one that promotes trust, respect and responsibility.”

Paul Hirschfelt, Coventry

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