Change is inevitable,  and if you’ve been paying attention to the happenings at USD353 , a lot has changed.  There have been changes in teachers and the buildings they are assigned, some by choice and others not. There have been changes in administration.  Almost every school in town has gotten a new principal in the last two years, as well as several new people and positions added at the central office. There have been changes to the curriculum, with the addition of Summit at Kennedy and the High School, with additional schools expected to add Summit next year. There have been changes in school hours with the implementation of late start each week.  There have been changes in classroom environments with the addition of “flexible seating” to the point that a simple desk is all but an ancient relic of the past. Even our school lunch program has changed, with the addition of multiple meal choices offered daily to students in the last year. It seems as though almost all aspects of our school system have changed. However, it’s very noticeable to me that one critical part of USD353 hasn’t changed and that’s the members of the BOE. In some cases, members of the current board have been in their positions for decades. And although I appreciate their dedication and service to our district, it seems it’s time for a change. Members of the local BOE are elected to represent the views and needs of their district. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that many of our current BOE members not only don’t take into account the views of their constituents, but more upsetting than that they won’t even meet with or listen to what the patrons of the community are saying. This is not the practice of all board members, but many who have served for decades have given the impression that the views of the public are not valid. Board members may be more knowledgeable about some aspects of the everyday workings of our school district, but they are not the only experts on the most important part of our schools, the students. If they are unwilling to listen to concerns regarding the welfare of our students then it’s time all the changes in USD353 include a change of the elected board members.

Linda Ledesma

Wellington, KS