Today, Will Sylianteng sent the following email to the Wissahickon School Board urging them to keep Mattison Ave. Elementary School open.
SUBMITTED VIA EMAIL TO WCOLEMAN@WSDWEB.ORG ON OCTOBER 2, 2012
To the Wissahickon School Board:
I am the Democratic candidate for the PA State House for the 151st District, which includes the Borough of Ambler, PA. I write to you to urge you to vote against closing Mattison Ave. Elementary School.
Mattison Ave. Elementary has a racial minority population of over 40%, many of these youngsters come from homes where Spanish - and not English - is the primary language. Furthermore, many of the students come from poorer homes and statistics show many begin their time at Mattison with lower baseline educations than their peers at your other elementary schools.
In spite of coming from underprivileged backgrounds, in many cases the students of Mattison Ave. Elementary School thrive. In fact, these students not only thrive, but they outshine their peers enrolled at your other elementary schools, when you compare the rate of their academic growth.
This is not a coincidence.
The small school, the role the concerned and active parents play in the school, and the way the community has rallied around Mattison Elementary School cannot be dismissed, and it cannot be quantified by the generic studies the district is relying on in making its recommendation to close Mattison Ave.
Until a full study can be commissioned to determine the effects of closing Mattison Ave. Elementary on the student population actually enrolled in Mattison (the study must take into account more than just test scores, it must be sensitive to both the racial and socio-economic factors at play in this unique school), you cannot close the school.
You have something special going on at Mattison Ave. Elementary. You should be celebrating that success rather than seeking to close it down.
Democratic Candidate for the PA State House (151)