MILFORD — During a public meeting Monday, Feb. 20, at the Milford School cafeteria, there were questions about just how many people are concerned there are inequalities between the two middle schools in the Wawasee Community School Corp.
The meeting was held, at least in part, as a response to a “climate audit” conducted during the 2015-16 school year by two retired school superintendents. The two were hired by the Wawasee school board to see what the corporation was doing well and what needed to be addressed.
The audit did reveal some areas needing to be addressed including what was perceived to be inequality in the offerings between Milford Middle School and Wawasee Middle School. WMS has more than double the number of students Milford Middle School has and there are some differences in classes and clubs offered. WMS is also a larger school and has a planetarium and pool, neither of which Milford has.
But of the approximately 30 in attendance at Monday’s meeting, only one person said they were asked any questions during the climate audit. And the question was posed, what was the percentage of people who expressed concerns about inequality in the middle schools? There were four school board members at the meeting – Rebecca Linnemeier, Rob Fisher, Mike Wilson and Don Bokhart. Bokhart was not on the board when the audit was done, but the others said they were not told specifically how many people expressed concerns during the audit.
They were only told the inequality in the middle schools was one of the top four areas needing to be addressed.
Many of those who spoke during the meeting said they don’t have any particular concerns about inequality in offerings between the two middle schools. Amy Evans, science teacher at Milford Middle School, said things have changed even since the last school year because the students now have the 1:1 devices that have opened up new opportunities. “Those opportunities weren’t there before,” she said.
She added concerning clubs which are available, sometimes the ones offered are driven by the students. “If the students want a club and can find a staff member to lead it, then we will offer it,” she said.
After the meeting, Dr. Tom Edington, WCSC superintendent, said the message was pretty clear parents and teachers want to keep a middle school in Milford and they seemed to be happy with current curriculum and club offerings. But there will be another public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, in the lecture room at Wawasee Middle School.