At the middle and high school conferences last week, volunteers from the facilities planning committee encountered large numbers of parents who were not aware of the referendum. Research tells us that there's a number of times we must encounter a message -- usually seven -- before we comprehend and absorb the message. How many times did you see mention of the referendum before you clicked a link, liked us on Facebook, or asked a question?
Let's take this one step further: how have you helped communicate news about overcrowded schools and the referendum to the greater community? We have only two weeks left before the election, and I ask for your help in pushing our message -- Vote YES! -- to other residents of Oak Creek and Franklin.
Here are just a few ways you can help:
- Share this blog on Facebook.
- Forward our email newsletter to your friends and neighbors with a personal message.
- Like and comment on our Facebook posts.
- Start a conversation with your neighbor.
- Bring referendum info flyers or YES flyers to your child's next game or dance lesson.
- Ask your favorite lunch place to post a flyer.
- Post a picture of a YES yard sign on Instagram and tag your OC-F followers.
- Do a group text to your closest OC-F friends and ask if they're aware of the referendum and ask them to vote YES.
I wrote a letter to the editor for the Oak Creek Now website and newspaper. I don't know if they will publish it, so I'm posting it below. Please tell your story about why you are voting YES. For me, it's not just about my children, but about the commitment we've made to live in Oak Creek and make it the best place to raise our kids. We want to leave a legacy of a solid community with strong schools once our kids are grown.
Please help reinforce this message to parents and residents of Oak Creek and Franklin: Vote YES on November 4th!
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Students in Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District are learning in extremely crowded conditions at the elementary schools and high schools. At Edgewood Elementary, kindergarten teachers have classes of 30 students, and the guidance counselor is working out of a former supply closet. The teacher lounge at Cedar Hills Elementary has been repurposed as a classroom. Science labs are in such demand at Oak Creek High School that multiple classes have to alternate days of lab time and lecture in order to meet the high numbers of students enrolling in lab science.
Our students deserve better. Oak Creek and Franklin can do better.
On November 4th, residents have the opportunity to vote on two referendum questions: 1) to build another elementary school and expand the high school campus and 2) to construct an 800-seat auditorium in the new secondary school building.
Since 2010, I have been part of the facilities planning committee, an ad hoc group of faculty, parents, and community members charged with examining facilities usage in the district. Our committee examined population projections, analyzed current facilities, and considered numerous solutions before recommending the referendum questions to the OC-F school board. The solutions proposed – a new elementary school and a secondary school building serving as a 9th grade center – are thoughtful, innovative, cost prudent, and effective strategies to addressing our rapidly growing student population.
I urge voters to say YES to both questions. In order for our community to remain a great place to live and a desirable destination for families, we need to provide strong schools for future generations. Investing in our schools is the best way to strengthen our community.
Jenny von Helms