Save Our Schools planning committee: Our work isn’t finished yet

April 11, 2018

Members of the Save Our Schools planning committee would like to thank the many people who have supported us in our effort to improve Winona’s public schools. We are deeply disappointed with the decision to close Madison and Rollingstone elementary schools. We also found very troubling what we consider lack of transparency, the unfair use of a public survey, the manipulation of financial figures, and administrative directives biased in favor of closure. We want to assure the public that we will continue to promote our vision of what’s best for education in Winona’s communities.

This vision is based on these beliefs:

Good education happens best in small schools such as Madison and Rollingstone.

Small schools are important to the well-being, prosperity, and safety of communities.

Teachers deserve more respect and support for their positive work.

Educational decisions should not be driven by administrative convenience.

Creative and active leadership drives school success.

Our public schools need more pre-school opportunities.

Fifth graders belong in neighborhood schools.

The Madison and Rollingstone buildings should be put to educational use.

Deficit problems, facility upgrades and teacher salary increases can be met by improved budgeting, efficiency and public support.

Public schools can benefit from community-wide and university partnerships.

Education improves when parents are actively engaged with their schools.

We look forward to working with community members, parents, teachers and staff, and others who support our vision for the improvement of public school education in the Winona area.

Emilio DeGrazia, Allen Hillery, Kendall Larson, Gretchen Michlitsch, Jerry Miller, Natalie Siderius, Karl Sonneman — Save our Schools