Why don't you have confidence in the school system? If you look at mcas scores and iowa basic skills scores for Tewksbury, we are right in the middle, not the best but not the worst. I am convinced that Tewksbury schools are headed in the right direction with its elementary program.
As voters, many of us have gone to town meeting to support the schools in the last couple of years. The Ryan, the Wynn renovation to name the last two major victories for our children. We as parents need to show up at town meeting and keep in touch with our school committee members and let them know our priorities. As parents and taxpayers we can make a difference in this town.
Our tax rate is low compared to chelmsford and lowell for example. We have a lot of room in the tax rate before we come close to that of some wealthier communities around us. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Good schools usually mean higher taxes for smaller class sizes, updated technology, quality arts and music education along with advanced classes for the gifted and talented child. But they also mean higher property values for homeowners. I truly think that new families coming into town are willing to fork over 400,000+ for new homes here because of the voters track record over the last few years to improve our school system and bring education to a higher level in this town.
I believe, for example, we will have an awesome high school band in the year 2010, when my child is there. To have that, we must invest at the elementary school level to reap the rewards at the high school level.
We must also invest the time at home to help our children succeed in school and I think ultimately, a home school is the ideal place to achieve success, but in reality, most kids in town will not have the luxury of a home-schooling situation. It will take a few more years of work and tax overrides before Tewksbury sees a significant increase in its test scores, but I believe that the families of elementary schoolchildren in town right now, not 10 years ago, are the ones that will help make the Tewksbury school system one to have confidence in.
I believe you will gain more confidence in our system by scheduling a visit at your distict elementary school and look at the children and the facility. Talk to the teachers, find out their credentials.
I know when I went to my childs school before he started kindergarten, to check it out and compare it to other local schools, I was very impressed. The teachers all had advanced degrees, the classrooms were clean, the children were very well behaved and seemed happy to be in school. They had music, gym, art and library/computer time. I was sold.
So, do your homework, get involved, VOTE at town meetings,BE A PRESENCE and you will be contributing to the success of your own child and the entire school community here in Tewksbury.