RIPLEY - Students from Ripley Central School who came forward at the recent Board of Education meeting to present a schoolwide survey concerning the possibility of tuitioning, were asked to postpone their presentation until the January meeting.
The survey had been initiated and conducted by Ripley students led by junior Allison Fisher, who obtained permission from school superintendent Karen Krause and principal Lauren Ormsby. The survey collected responses from 128 students in sixth through 11th grades regarding the possibility of those grades being tuitioned to Chautauqua Lake Central School next year.
"I just want to show everyone what we what to say, because we have a stake in this," Fisher said at the beginning of the presentation. "We don't have a vote but our parents do and they should know what we think."
Photo by David Prenatt
Students from Ripley High School attended December’s Board of Education meeting. In front is Allison Fisher, who led the group. Also pictured, from left, are Trevor Howser, Kendra Bentley, Destiny Safford and Eve Taft.
At that point, board President Robert Bentley asked the students if they would mind waiting until the January board meeting to make their presentation. "I just received this survey about 10 minutes ago and would like some time to review it," he said.
The students agreed, but when contacted later, Fisher said she and other students were upset about being postponed. "We immediately felt shut down," she said. "Our results should have been showed because our voices matter too. We may be kids, but we are important."
Fisher said it took a week to develop the survey. Then she spent more than a week getting approval, distributing and collecting the survey. She said the students involved with be sure to be at the next meeting.
"Our survey should have been shown at the board meeting. Our results are great and people need to know what we, as the students, have to say. I'm up for a challenge at the next board meeting. I'm not going to be afraid and step down. I and all the other kids will stand our ground and make sure people know our results. We really do matter."
Those taking the surveys responded to eight questions. The results are as follows:
1: Do you want the District to do tuition? Yes-35. No-83. No opinion-10.
2: Should Elementary also (tuition?) Yes-48. No-62. No Opinion-17.
3: If tuitioned, where would you prefer? Westfield-27. Sherman-63. Chautauqua Lake-36
4: Are you able to take the classes you want at RCS? Yes-56. No-61. No opinion-11.
5: Is there a class not offered at RCS that you would like to take? Yes-72. No-37. No opinion-19.
6: Do you feel that having a larger student class would benefit you? Yes-47. No-64. No opinion-17.
7: Would you be interested in taking college level or advance placement classes? Yes-67. No-39. No opinion-22.
8: Is there a club or sport not offered at RCS that you would like to take? - Variety of answers.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.