Bringing ‘Our Town’ to Our Town
Friday, January 11, 2013 • 11:00pm
If our town was “Our Town,” we might find significance in our most ordinary days:
• Young actors performing the American drama on a middle school stage.
• The parents readying their soon-to-be 5 year olds for the first day of kindergarten.
• The 8th graders about to discover a typical day of high school.
• A senior playing with clay.
On Thursday, a most ordinary day was extraordinary when I was invited to sing our ABCs with preschool PRIDE students at Burnet Hill Elementary. I wish there was time every day in our town to relish life’s most simple of moments. The children even sent me home with a birthday crown.
In many ways, our town’s pace is quicker than the classic “Our Town,” the American classic that will be presented this weekend at Heritage, or the artists we observed at work – portraits drawn by young artists and ceramics created by Advanced Placement scholars.
Indeed, Livingston sometimes moves faster than a high-speed train, observed Superintendent Dr. Brad Draeger, who is retiring at the end of this school year. With four new housing developments on the horizon, Livingston schools in the foreseeable future will be squeezed by new students – unless the community acts now to approve new school construction that would add classrooms and update aging learning resource centers at the elementary schools.
Draeger is sounding his deep concern in his final months at Livingston Public Schools, setting the stage for building that would take place a year after he retires. “LPS will face a serious and impactful classroom shortage in the very near future,” he said. “If you don’t start now, you won’t be ready when the students start to enroll.” (Click here for the Facility Assessment presentation).
That’s a decision for the reorganized Board of Education, and ultimately voters who would need to approve the funding.
The coming weeks will be far from ordinary for the members of the Board of Education.
Newly sworn-in school board members were ushered from the well-attended reception that marked the beginning of their work. Within minutes they were reviewing how the entire board would go about the task of finding a new School Superintendent.
On Wednesday, January 16 the school board members will discuss the need for a referendum for financing. We hope members of our town will attend this important meeting of the Board of Education to learn for themselves why action at this time is imperative.
So too is hearing from the school community and our town-at-large about the qualifications they consider vital to the District’s future leader. The Board of Education has launched an online survey (click here to participate in the Superintendent search) and has planned two community forums. On January 28, the search consultant will review the hopes gleaned from the forums, survey, and focus groups.
We don’t expect to find that ordinary is good enough for our town.
IN OUR SCHOOLS
Our Town: Heritage Middle School’s production is this weekend.
Art Appreciation: Portraits of young artists and high schoolers playing with clay.
LHS Prepares to Welcome the Class of 2017: Parent orientation is January 24.
Kindergarten Registration: Getting Ready for the 1st Day of Kindergarten Starts Now. (click here for registration procedures).