25 Oct 2009, 2:56pm
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Freewill, a local school

FREEWILL
Deja vue all over again. One of the features that attracted us to Walworth and helped us to decide to build where we did in 1972, was the close location to the local elementary school. I liked the idea of having my future little ones attend a school close to home. Remember the Walworth Academy, then Elementary School?
The builder told us a new elementary school was being planned for the land just east of our new home. As a Certified Elementary teacher, I liked this idea, too. Alas, the new school was built west of us, all the way over on Canandaigua Road. Now, that too is apparently slated to close and little ones will be bussed into Ontario, not exactly close to their own home and neighbors.
Perhaps, if the current Freewill Elementary School really does become the new library and senior center, the powers that be will allow the families in “S. Ontario” (formerly a.k.a. Walworth), to choose to send their little ones to the elementary school that is closer: Gananda Elementary School; just as, a few years ago, they let folks on Paddy Lane choose to send their little ones to Freewill or the school closer to home, the Ontario Primary School.
Oh, dear Gussie. On second thought, since my youngest will be out of Freewill in the Spring of 2011, perhaps I should start lobbying for para-transit to get me to the Senior Center on Canandaigua Road.

20 Oct 2009, 3:35pm
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One Ringy-Dingy

ONE RINGY-DINGY
The way my local school system is set up, it is a “lock-down” facility where the students are shuffled into new groupings each year within the grade level team. This is pretty effective in discouraging any “my best friend from Kindergarten” type of long-term relationship. The students not only can’t stay with their buddies, but now they aren’t even allowed to ask a new friend for his/her phone number.
For decades, our family has had “Friday Is Friends Day”, where the student gets permission to ride the bus home with my children, stay for pizza dinner and then, we drive the friend home. I have always phoned to talk to the new friend’s parent(s) so they feel comfortable letting their child come to visit. It’s called the “mother’s Network”. The other day my son was asking several new friends for their phone numbers, in anticipation of Friday Is Friends Day. He was writing the names and numbers in his planner. The planner is one of the many supplies parents are required to purchase before the school year starts. I believe that makes it our son’s personal property, not school property.
The teacher told him he could not do that; it was an issue of student’s safety. She ripped the page out of his planner and Snapped: Use the phone book.
Aside from the fact that there are no phone books in braille; there are no phone books listing cell phone numbers or e-mail addresses.
What new low has our society fallen to when a teacher humiliates a student, demoralizing a child’s attempt to be a good citizen by getting to know his fellow students a little better?