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Article Published May 1, 2019

It is Up to Us

By Christine West

Abraham Pierson Elementary school closing next year saddens the Clinton community and yet we understand its necessity. This educational institution closes an undeniable and impactful chapter in Clinton’s history dating back to its being the first home to Yale. Our Superintendent of Schools Maryann O’Donnell and the Board of Education made this very difficult but fiscally responsible decision. The team dedicated many thoughtful hours into the reconfiguration of the buildings and programming to accommodate 4th and 5th grades as they shift to Joel and Eliot, respectively. They are committed to providing the necessary elements to teach young adolescent learners, and they have worked hard to use this opportunity to make some very exciting changes at both schools.

At Eliot, the team model will be maintained. With the addition of 5th grade, an academy model has been implemented: Lower Academy (grades 6 and7) and Upper Academy (grades 7 and 8). The Lower Academy allows for age-appropriate instructional time and recess. The Upper Academy supports transition to The Morgan School. Especially exciting is the new ASPIRE course, which develops readiness skills necessary for high school. There is a new WIN (Whatever I Need) period. There are more music options in 7th and 8th grades, and all grades are offered related arts programs (tech, health, art, music, chorus, band, P.E.). All students will have increased access to technology with 1:1 chromebooks.

These exciting and new changes are needed for students to keep up in our progressive world. Education is not only for improving the students’ lives but strengthens our communities and makes the world a better place. Clinton is heading in the right direction, but it is up to us as a community to make sure it continues. I encourage your readers to join me in helping our future by voting “Yes” for education May 8 at Clinton Town Hall.

Christine West
Clinton