Letter to the editor: Responding to parents pulling students from Fairfield schools

Responding to parents pulling students from Fairfield schools

I am writing in response to Josh La Bella’s recent article on parents’ “no regrets” pulling of their children from FPS.

We are in the midst of a global pandemic, one that is currently killing more than 3,000 Americans every day, and the measures implemented in FPS are TEMPORARY, enacted to adhere to social distancing guidelines to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2, a novel virus. The reason private and parochial schools can accommodate full-time, in-person learning is the fact that their class sizes are much smaller. Unquowa School has only 157 students enrolled K-8. Compare that to 265 K-5 at Dwight, our public elementary school with the lowest enrollment. That is roughly 100 more students in three fewer grades. Moreover, the cost of Unquowa is $34K a year, approximately the in-state tuition, room and board at University of Connecticut, which is out of reach for many in town.

I realize that children and families are struggling and that no one is thriving during these times. But Fairfield is not the only district grappling with these issues. Indeed, elementary schools in Weston and Norwalk have moved to going fully remote on a temporary basis due to the effects of COVID on the ability to staff. Let us remember that ONLY the privileged few have the resources to pull their children from public school and pay for private education. I am in no way minimizing the difficulties faced by these families, and ALL families, during the pandemic, and am truly happy that the needs of the children who left the district and are mentioned in the article are being met. But this is not the norm.

I offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Mr. Cummings, our Board of Education, our administrators and teachers, who are working to help our children navigate these challenging times and mitigate a once in a century public health crisis.

Nicole Stanton, Fairfield