Category Archives: Letters

Flow readers say…

LEC: ‘School Improvement Plan stronger with you’

LEC seeks family, community voices;
Shelburne seat still open

Dear Flow readers,

Our LEC (Local Education Council) is an advisory board to the principal. Members consist of parents of current students, teachers, and members of the towns of Buckland and Shelburne.

This year’s members are  parents Jennifer Martin, Elizabeth Garofalo, Rachel Silverman, and Amanda Kingsley; school staffers Sandra Carter, Kate Dwyer, and Lillian Black; and community member and Buckland resident Mary Brooks.

A seat is open for a Shelburne resident as well.

Flow staffer Myah Grant, then in 4th grade, is determined to report on the Dec. 17, 2014, LEC meeting.
Flow staffer Myah Grant, then in 4th grade, is determined to report on the Dec. 17, 2014, LEC meeting.

The LEC creates the Family-School Connection portion of the School Improvement Plan. Some schoolwide initiatives that have come from the LEC include the school garden, after-school enrichment programs, and the back-to-school Community Night.

[The SIP also covers Effective Instruction, Student Assessment, and Tiered Instruction and Adequate Learning Time. — Ed.]

The LEC aims to respond to the needs of Buckland-Shelburne families to help strengthen the relationship between home and school that is so important for our students.

There is always time in our agenda for community comment, and we welcome input from any member of the Buckland-Shelburne community. We just ask that you contact Principal Joanne Giguere first so that you can be put on the agenda.

The LEC meets at the school library at 4 p.m. on the second Monday of each month and follows the open-meeting laws. Sometimes decision-making happens over the course of several meetings, as we carefully consider concerns brought to our attention.

We hope to hear from you.

— Jennifer Martin, on behalf of the LEC

For more information on the LEC, contact Jen Martin at 625-3054 or For copies of the district’s educational improvement plan, including BSE’s School Improvement Plan for 2015-2016 and its Action Plan, visit and click the tab for Buckland-Shelburne.

What’s on your mind? The Flow welcomes a diverse range of family friendly views on pertinent topics.

You Made Our Day, Mrs. Wagner!

Dear Editor,

Wanted to let you, and all other newspaper students, know what a great job you do. I picked up the Feb. 5 issue today [Feb. 26] at my hairdresser’s shop, State Street Style.

My great-granddaughters go to Hawlemont Regional School and I didn’t know Mr. Yagodzinski left [as principal] and Mr. Kermenski came. Now I know.

Joy reads letter to the editorI enjoyed reading about “Pants” [“Pants is on the case to help kids read,” Features]; Emily Schoelzel building and repairing canoes [“All of our boats are handmade…” Cool Careers]; Pam Snow and teaching environmental matters [“Teaching the teachers: Pam Snow helps bring science education to life,” Magazine]; and the valentine-making for seniors, to name a few.

Last fall, Brooke Looman and Joy Bohonowicz did an interview with Holly Mae (Brown), my granddaughter, a senior at Mohawk. [“Charlemont’s Holly Mae Brown is going places,” Features, Nov. 20, 2014]. Nice piece.

Kylie Lowell is correct to want field hockey and volleyball at BSE. [Editorial, Feb. 5.] However, it’s time and money, and an adult who would volunteer. Last year, while watching field hockey, [I heard] the coach tell the adults there to cheer for “our kids,” that “the opposing team is tough. They start in the lower grades to learn field hockey.”
[…] Adults need to know about good things teens and younger people do with their time.

Linda Wagner, Charlemont

We thank Mrs. Wagner for her awesome letter, want her to know we turned to it often in our workshop, and invite readers to find these stories, and so many more, in our free archive.

‘Improve parking, street safety for sake of kids at BSE’

Kara logoDear Editor:

Watching the filming of an accident scene  for “The Judge” on Mechanic Street in Shelburne Falls was exciting, but a real accident there involving any of our children would devastate our community. The town of Shelburne would be on trial if such an accident happened.

Mechanic Street along the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School property is a problem area posing danger to students, and the time to act is now:

There is no extra parking for families who live close to school. There is no safe winter street parking. There are no prominent road markings for school foot traffic.

Students living within a mile-and-a-half of school have no bussing provided by the Mohawk Trail Regional School District. Lack of bussing requires caregivers drive students to school. Were additional parking provided, the teacher and visitors’ parking lot would not become a parent parking lot.

As likely most of us have seen firsthand, and been part of, nearly all of the cars in this lot require the driver back out before exiting. This puts walking children in danger in the parking lot. This danger is aggravated when snow flies.

When snow piles up along Mechanic Street it is not being cleared from the curb. This problem forces drivers to park into the street or else find parking in the teachers’ parking lot.

How many of us have circled multiple times on these winter days in effort to find parking? The district forces children leaving the building and vehicles to walk into icy roads and parking lots — and out in front of cars, trucks, and busses.

Children attempting to reach parents or caregivers waiting in warm cars try to stop before reaching traffic but before sliding under cars. Parents must choose between children sliding under vehicles or walking out into the road.

Worse still, that’s a road not clearly marked as a school zone. The paint markings on the road meant to inform drivers of the school zone are faint at best. Yes, there is a crosswalk just south of the entrance to the school, but it’s barely noticeable, either by clearly defined paint or by a brightly lit sign.

The crosswalk at the post office intersection is newly painted. Why, then, is the crosswalk serving the school left with old, worn paint? The school signs at Mohawk are new and bright yellow. Why are BSE’s school signs aged and dull?

As a concerned parent, I urge the district and town to come together on this before winter. And before it’s too late.

YOUR TURN! The Flow invites brief letters to the editor of interest to our local readership, and prints a select few as a public service. Extra credit for kids who write. We reserve the right to edit or decline letters. Letters must have the author’s name and contact information so that we can verify authorship.