With April 5 approaching right around the corner, the voters of the Stratford School District have some important decisions to make. Besides the local, state, and national political votes, there are two referendum questions being presented.
The two questions are being brought forward to address numerous needs. This process started about a year ago with several listening sessions and surveys. The information gathered was then put together, and a proposed project was developed. This project was put into two separate questions to give voters the option to vote for a level in which to support the district.
Question 1 addresses the needs of the present buildings. Updates to the heating, plumbing, and electrical systems are part of this as some of these systems are over 50 years old. It also includes a high school building addition, which will have three new classrooms and two new science classrooms/labs. The other aspect of Question 1 includes updates and renovations to the high school locker rooms, agriculture sciences classroom, and the areas used for children with special needs. The additional space and classrooms are needed to address the increase in student population and to keep classroom sizes smaller.
Education goes beyond the classroom as well. Some very important life lessons can be learned on the court and stage. That is where referendum Question 2 becomes important. Teamwork, public speaking, and good communication skills are all important for young people to become productive members of society. Question 2 will also address some of the congestion in our gymnasiums.
With Question 1 coming in at just under $16 million and Question 2 at slightly less than $8 million, it will affect our tax rates. One thing to consider is that for some years our district has had a mill rate at or close to the bottom in comparison to other area school districts. The school has consistently had one of the lowest cost/pupil rates in the entire state, ranking seventh in 2015. This shows that the administration and district have been very cost conscious and have every intention to continue that trend.
Thank you to everyone who invested their time into this referendum project and to the community who have given their thoughts and input. The district staff and fellow board members have worked hard to form those ideas into a concept and referendum. I am hopeful that the Stratford community will also see the needs our district is facing and support our children.
Please vote on April 5.
School Board President