From the Community

On this page, I’ll include information I am hearing as I visit community members throughout the district.

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8 Responses to “From the Community”

  1. bradyforschoolboard Says:

    9/19-20: I talked with about 50 people this weekend and heard many interesting things. There is a lot of concern about what is coming for Ohio schools: a number of people understood the consequences if the slots issue does not go, and they are worried. Others are worried about the economy in general and the cost of everything. One talked about how his salary had been cut but taxes still went up significantly. Now he feels like he’s being nickel-and-dimed by all kinds of fundraisers for every group in the world.

    I learned some about turnaround schools as well – schools that have been in emergency status for a certain number of years and are then re-vamped to address the issues.

    Several people were very excited about all-day kindergarten. A few had the impression it was already in place, others were wondering if it would happen. The people I talked with wanted it. Their kids have been in preschool and need the extra mental stimulation an all-day option offers.

    Several people had very young children. This area had a lot of boys under two – they’ll have a bunch of great playmates! We need to keep our schools as strong as possible, no matter what happens, so in a few years, they’re able to get a great education as well.

  2. bradyforschoolboard Says:

    9/29: I had a great discussion tonight with several people. One, a retired chemist who loves physics, was discussing the many things he has done with the schools through the years. He would like to support classrooms again but hasn’t quite figured out how to do it. He has some great ideas, and I know Milford (and other school districts) would benefit from his knowledge, experience & enthusiasm!

    Others were saying the district is doing a much better job than previously with communications. One thing we discussed was how to get relevant information out so it’s easier for people to access & digest. Viewing board meetings on TV is difficult because you have to watch the entire meeting to find out the pieces that are interesting to you. There are meeting summaries, but they don’t cover everything right now, and you also have to remember to go find them on the website.

  3. bradyforschoolboard Says:

    This weekend, I talked with an interesting mix of people. Several families have their kids in private schools right now, but they’re thinking about coming back to Milford. I encouraged them to consider it seriously, since we provide a great education and lots of other support for our students. A number of families do not have kids in school – some were too young, others were grown & gone, but as one person remarked, “We still pay property taxes.” One woman has grandchildren ranging from elementary through high school (and one in college this year!) Another has an elementary level daughter who’s in cheerleading. They enjoyed the football game Friday night where the younger kids participated with the high schoolers. She says it was packed & very fun!

    I talked with another woman who has a daughter in college. She was surprised to get an additional bill from the college, over & above what she’s committed to (and already) paid. The college says their funding has been cut, and the extra is being passed on to families. They are not giving much time for the families to come up with the extra money. That’s an unexpected hardship that can really hurt home economics.

    On a positive note, I also visited the Boyd craft fair and met many people, including the coordinator. What a fantastic job she did! In addition to a bunch of neat booths, they had activities for the kids. This is their second craft fair, the first one in the fall. Based on what I saw, I bet this is now a standard event!

  4. bradyforschoolboard Says:

    I spoke with someone yesterday who was receiving my newsletter and finding it very helpful. He commented that he really liked that I was doing it, and that he felt communication from the district needed to be improved. I asked what he’d like to hear more about: a topic, or board meetings, or anything in specific? His answer was succinct and interesting: “I’d like to hear about anything. It’s the attitude that they WANT to communicate with me that I’d like to see.”

  5. bradyforschoolboard Says:

    On Wednesday, as I was talking with people in downtown Milford, I met a man who had a television he wanted to donate to the school. He said his other option was to donate it to another organization, but he wanted to make sure it ended up somewhere it was really needed. He was hoping this was the Milford School District.

    Sure enough, it looks like we can use it. Dr. Farrell sent a note out to the schools asking who wanted it. The Junior High did – it can help them with bus tapes.

    Thank you for a generous donation to MEVSD!

  6. bradyforschoolboard Says:

    I talked with a number of people today in a neighborhood made up of diverse families. While there were a number of families with children (all I talked with were in Milford Schools), there were also many empty nesters and a number of retirees.

    I heard many different things, but the prevalent comment was taxes are very high and we need to find a way to curb spending. One woman is looking forward a couple years to her husband’s retirement. She is worried they will not be able to stay in Milford if taxes keep going up. They have been here for a number of years and have seen taxes increase dramatically. She mentioned a show where they discussed how people who had bought into neighborhoods years before were being chased out by rising property taxes. She fears this same thing could happen in Milford.

    Another woman questioned the money spent on things like the design of the new elementaries and sports programs. Her feeling is buildings don’t have to be so “fancy” – “it’s the teachers the kids learn from, not a fancy building.” She also feels sports should be cut before academics, since they are “extras” and “nice to have,” but when cuts need to be made, academics should be protected. She feels there are many ways to be more efficient, and she does not think the community will pass another levy until it’s clear operations are running efficiently. She says she used to vote yes on all operating levies, and she did vote yes last November (2008), but there were several years when she felt the district was too irresponsible to earn her yes vote.

    One family praised Milford’s support services extensively. They have a son with special needs and found Milford to be a great place for him. He has graduated now but they still feel very good about Milford.

    I also met a Milford High School senior who is looking at colleges. She’s really planning ahead – she is thinking about what school she should choose for undergraduate because she wants to go to an Ivy League school for law and/or graduate school!

    I met a former aeronautic engineer and substitute teacher who is very ill with cancer. She still has a fantastic attitude and is looking ahead, hoping to be able to teach again some day. She had initially planned to be a teacher but got sidetracked into engineering. After designing airplane wings for Milacron and working for a number of other companies, she decided to return to teaching – and found she loved it. She’s sorry she didn’t spend more of her career teaching, but is happy to have had the years she did in the schools. She subbed K-12, but when schools discovered her expertise, she was often called for high school math & science classes. She substituted at several districts, and praised Milford for many things, including their discipline: she says we are heads above other districts in the high school as far as kids being respectful and behaving properly. That’s good to hear!

  7. bradyforschoolboard Says:

    I visited several neighborhoods this weekend, all with very different personalities and concerns. One issue I heard about in multiple areas was busing – everything from the bus garage, to the number of buses going through the neighborhood one after another (all but one only partially full), to a bus that sits and idles in front of a child’s house for quite a while each day, only to require the child to walk about 6 houses down to the stop to get on.

    I also heard quite a bit about finances. People in these neighborhoods are concerned about their taxes and making ends meet. Many of them did not have children in school. They say they’ve seen their taxes rise considerably in the last 10 years and they’re concerned about how high they’ll go.

    I met one amazing young man who is getting his aeronautics degree, working at an aeronautics company as a co-op, helping out and flying at a local airport, and working at a Milford restaurant. Unfortunately, Milford can’t claim him as a graduate (he went to private school), but I expect we’ll be hearing his name plenty in the future!

    I also met a man who has a relative in politics. He’s lived here all his life, and we had a long, interesting conversation about the process as well as the district. He & his wife had some great insights. Their children had been in private schools until this year. So far, they’re happy with Milford, which is great to hear.

    I also came across a number of people who had already voted absentee. Many shared that they had voted for me – thank you for your support!

  8. Pat Schmidt Says:

    Regarding the complaints from senior citizens about school taxes that we all hear, I wonder if they all know that they can get a pass at the high school that will get them into all sporting events and some other events free! I only knew about it because my granddaughter is a high school cheerleader and she arranged for me to have one last year. This year I got my own! If a senior used the pass twice a month they would save enough on other forms of entertainment to more than pay their school taxes!

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