To the Editor:
Astute: adjective having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations, intelligent, brilliant.
Several years ago I was in Dave's market and a women overheard a conversation I was having with my daughter and said to me she is quite astute. I thanked her and finished my shopping. I went home and Googled the word because I wasn't sure if she was complimenting her or patronizing her. Throughout the last few years I have heard this compliment numerous times about her. My daughter, Madison, just finished her junior year at Pilgrim, going into her senior year. She took 4AP classes this year and 1 EEP class. The highest amount of accelerated classes taken by any other child at Pilgrim. She earned a 4.65 GPA. Madison is the junior class president, she is also the track captain; she is a leader. This year she was inducted into the National Honor Society, she then ran for president of that and was elected. She also received the Rhode Island Secretary of State Leadership award as well as Women in engineering award.
Junior year in High School is "the most important year" many say. Between SAT's, prom, beginning your college search, etc. Not only did my daughter exceed our expectations academically, but she filled her free time with extracurricular activities. She joined Science Olympiad where she was able to compete with a group of students from Pilgrim against other high schools in Rhode Island. She was the junior class president planning proms, pep rallies, and numerous fund-raisers. She was a peer tutor for a few students struggling in chemistry. Madison is also the track captain and they together have won many titles, she had a very busy year.
She started her college search and has decided she would like to go to a four-year college and then on to medical school. We began researching and touring colleges. We recently toured Boston College. As we sat in an informational session I looked around at a room full of kids just like my daughter, many I'm sure with higher GPA's, maybe not as many extracurricular activities, I'm not really sure. I wondered how she would stick out from he rest. The man who gave the presentation claimed for the 2019 school year they received 65,000 applications from which they would accept 3,000. What is BC looking for he asked? A well rounded student, not the ones who spent 4 years of high school with their nose in their books, not the students with a perfect GPA. "We want students who interacted with other students and community groups, students who joined extracurriculars as well as students who excelled academically.”
Ok, I thought, she has a fighting chance.
This letter is not just about sports, there is a bigger issue – a much bigger issue. Tuesday night you (the School Committee) also cut the accreditation process (or you said you were going to put it off a year). For a school to be accredited there must be sports and after school activities and clubs involved. Without accreditation my daughter’s hard work is for nothing. The threat of things like graduation being cut is sickening. Without accreditation she would never get into Boston College. Without sports and activities these kids are loosing a sense of teamwork, they are loosing their time management skills they are loosing so many valuable life lessons.
If you drive around the city you will clearly notice all the homes for sale. People are leaving the city, they are moving to better districts with better schools. We are closing schools and laying off teachers and now cutting accreditation and all activities? What is happening to the city? Moving for us is not an option for many it is not, nor is private school. There has got to be another way. I think we all need to act like adults and have an adult meeting with the proper councils, politicians whomever to get this straightened out…for the kids, for the taxpayers and for this wonderful city.
Lastly, these kids, these unbelievable passionate kids many of them are juniors, some seniors will be voting in their very first election next year and years following. They want change, they yearn for change, they want what is right for them, for their peers and for the community. They will not stop until they get it.
If you would, please view this video an assignment she did for her college writing class: drive.google.com/file/d/1PvLZu1xKibUXMENK6l_Hu7fIAXKq5u8U/view?usp=sharing
I really appreciate you taking the time to read this.