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Letter: It Was Not Just About Italian

The Dec. 13, 2012 North Shore Board of Education (‘BOE’) meeting was a real wake up call for members of the North Shore Community and left most who attended in disbelief. 

The North Shore BOE of course invited all to attend the meeting. However, it became obvious to all, that their decision to enact the World Language Program and to phase out the Italian language was a foregone conclusion made regardless of the community’s desire and regardless of who it impacted.  

After many of the group of over 200 community members presented well-prepared and cohesive arguments in support of maintaining the Italian language, they were basically ignored and rejected within seconds of their pleas, leaving most of the attendees greatly frustrated. 

As people say, good comes from bad and in the shadow of the BOE’s unresponsive behavior towards its community, many of the North Shore community members formed The North Shore Education Reform Group (NSER), and through grass-roots efforts obtained nearly 400 signatures on a petition requesting the BOE and superintendent to find a way to keep Italian, as it was fundamental to this community. Yes, the superintendent and BOE ultimately revised the language program to maintain Italian in the curriculum as was presented to the public at the following BOE meeting on Jan. 3, 2013.

Subsequently, these concerned community members have formed a new civic organization, named The North Shore District Reform Group (NSDR), which has mobilized, is growing and is striving to make significant and lasting BOE and school district reform in all areas. The NSDR’s goal is to be an active voice in the community in order to ensure that the Superintendant and the BOE’s policies address the children’s educational needs while remaining fiscally responsible and consider the interests, values, and concerns of the North Shore District residents. 

It was not just Italian, but it was the district’s errant decision to drop the Italian language that initiated this necessary reform movement for our community. 

Please give your ideas and support to the NSDR so we can all work together to strengthen and reform the educational policies for our children.

Thank you,

The North Shore District Reform Group, Inc.

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