by Maria Benevento, The Kansas City Beacon
The Blueprint 2030 process may be especially fraught because of lingering bad feelings over the district’s last major round of school closures, marketed as “rightsizing,” which closed nearly half of the district’s schools, displaced numerous students and left holes in some neighborhoods.
During the meeting, board member Kandace Buckner corrected a presenter’s word choice.
Rightsizing “is a very sensitive word, as we went through this about 10 years ago,” she said. “…This is not rightsizing.”
Buckner said she’s already received emails, phone calls and texts asking how the district’s new plan will be different from the past.
Board member Jennifer Wolfsie said she views the “rightsizing” as a move made not from a sense of academic vision, but to stave off a fiscal crisis and a state takeover after years of board inaction.
The current initiative is more proactive, she said.
“If we don’t make a decision … and push things down the road, we could be putting our students and future boards back into the situation that we were having to face in 2010,” Wolfsie said.
Collier said during the board meeting that the district and community need to look to the future to support students.
“I cannot answer for the past,” she said. “All I can do now is look forward and ask everybody else to join us as we look forward, to join us and give us your thoughts. Share your thinking, share your concerns. But at the end of that we also have to know and understand that a decision will need to be made … If we really care and we want to see something different, let’s do it together.”