Letter: BHS needs a targeted approach

Posted 4/15/21

To the editor:

On April 1, Barrington school administrators presented information relating to de-leveling at Barrington High School (BHS). Within that presentation, we learned that 50 percent of …

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Letter: BHS needs a targeted approach

Posted

To the editor:

On April 1, Barrington school administrators presented information relating to de-leveling at Barrington High School (BHS). Within that presentation, we learned that 50 percent of Barrington kids currently choose to take English Honors, certainly not a privileged, minority subset. As stated during the informational meeting, the rationale for de-leveling is to address racial, socioeconomic, and IEP inequities. 

While I applaud efforts to address various levels of inequity within our society, based on the numbers presented, the gap between these demographics and that of the 50 percent of kids who choose to take honors can be boiled down to about 10-15 kids/grade, in total.

Why isn’t our school administration addressing these issues in a targeted way through guidance counseling, parent engagement, and tutoring? This is what other high-performing schools are doing to address inequity gaps. 

There is no logic in dismantling a structure that has been broadly successful, in an attempt to in-directly address a gap that is small enough to target head-on. At the School Committee meeting on April 8, public comment on this topic went well into the late hours as parent after parent expressed significant concerns and asked the School Committee to pause and review this plan. Most people move to Barrington, accepting high taxes, with the expectation of a rigorous learning experience at the high school, which in turn, attracts some of the best teachers.

It is this synergy of rigor, community, and excellent teachers that make BHS the highly ranked high school that it is. It is wrong to assume that pulling away foundational bricks, that are the basis for BHS’s success, will not have long-term consequences for our kids and a loss of families who planted roots with an expectation of higher academic engagement.

Shelli Edgar

Barrington

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