Category Archives: Aiken

6 elementary schools could get clobbered

Parents at  Aiken, Braeburn, Bugbee, Duffy, Morley, and Norfeldt schools better wake up fast.

On the list of potential cuts are two that would create havoc for countless families and drastically reduce the education at each of the schools.

One proposal is to eliminate full-day kindergarten at each of the six schools, to save $713,750. There would still be half-day kindergarten there, but that’s not nearly as effective educationally and is obviously a greater burden on many working families.

In addition, those same six schools face the possibility of seeing their average class sizes rise by four students in each grade, which means some upper grade teachers could have 29 kids in the room instead of a maximum of 25. In the lower grades, the increase is from 23 to 27.

Anybody who’s read anything about educational achievement knows that smaller class sizes are crucial. At 27, the classes are nearly twice as big as they should be. That would be a body blow to West Hartford’s students — and to our reputation.

Parents — and others, of course — should be screaming that such a thing is even on the agenda.



Filed under Aiken, Board of Education, Braeburn, budget, Bugbee, Duffy, education, Morley, Norfeldt, referendum, Schools, town council

Taking an ax to education

In the wake of the town council’s awful decision to slice $1.8 million from the proposed school budget, something has to give. Now we know what it might be, and it’s terrible.

The Board of Education has posted a list of potential cuts to reach the new budget goal that it never wanted. You can see the list in PDF form here.

Just scroll through the list and it will make your heart sink. Extending world language education down to kindergarten? Gone. Quest? Gone. Extra help for our most troubled schools? Gone.

They’re even eyeing a return to half-day kindergarten at Aiken, Bugbee, Duffy, Morley and Norfeldt — a policy reversal that flies in the face of every expert’s recommendation. Those same schools might also see class sizes rise by FOUR students apiece. That’s terrible, too, since smaller classes are key for getting results.

Go through the hit list yourself. Everyone will find different things that make them queasy. If this happens, it would be a giant step backward and a slap in the face of our hard-working students, who deserve better.

And what’s really worrisome is that even with all these cuts already looming, the West Hartford Taxpayers Association is pushing for a referendum because it wants MORE cuts. This is so ludicrous that I don’t know where to begin. What kind of town are we creating here? Our leaders need to do better, all of them.


Filed under Aiken, Board of Education, Bugbee, Duffy, education, Morley, News, Norfeldt, Quest, Schools, town council, Town government, West Hartford