The referred the recurring at the for review by two of its committees Wednesday, after moderator Chris Sullivan read a petition signed by more than 200 residents.
The , gathered by Nicole Cipriano and Kate Ross requests that the RTM research the feasibility of soundproofing strategies and solutions concerning the open classroom structure “with a goal for the town to allocate necessary funds for the 1200 students in four grades” there.
The RTM's Education Committee and also its Ways and Means Committee, whose responsibilities include issues involving the appropriation of funds, will now look into the matter.
“We’re trying a different avenue,” said Cipriano before the meeting. She and other parents had previously raised what parents consider the prevalence of sound throughout the open-space intermediate school at of the late last year.
The concept of school buildings without permanent interior walls, which Walsh represents, is a school design that became popular in the 1970s. At present, according to Cipriano and Ross, noise from the school’s cafeteria, a media center and classrooms that require a student to walk through one in order to get to a second, have a disruptive effect on learning in the school.
Cipriano and Ross said that they began collecting signatures for their petition last Friday, March 9 and succeeded in gathering the two hundred-plus total in time to file the petition by the close of business on Monday.
In addition to the petition for strategies to diminish sound, such as soundproofed panels that would extend a good distance from the floor toward the ceiling, Ross, Cipriano and a third parent, Gerald Araneo, have submitted a letter to the detailing the concerns they, former students and the middle school students themselves now have (see attached).
“We personally believe we lose many good families to other schools and towns because of the distractions caused and fear of distractions caused by the physical structure at Walsh,” the letter reads. “We do not want to leave nor do we wish to send our children to schools outside of town. However, we are requesting that some funds be put toward Walsh.”
Ross and Cipriano each have one student at the Walsh Intermediate School and a second that will attend the school in the near future.