School district officials should work with entire community

Helen Yin, Plainsboro
I attended the West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education meeting held on Nov. 17.
I was literally shaking when I went to the podium to express my concerns. As a long-time Plainsboro resident, my family and I have been living in Gentry since September 1997. For the past 18 years, I’ve never seen anything like what was going on in that room. Tension among different ethnic groups, hostility between school admin team and the parents, and confrontational words being exchanged.
All of these were caused by the school superintendent’s proposed changes of cutting a renowned and long-standing advanced math program (A&E math) for the fourth and fifth graders using gender and ethnic imbalance as one of the reasons.
Although my eighth-grade son is good at math, he was never accepted by the A&E program. Without going to any math tutors, he made it to the 20-person Mathcount team not just once, but twice. He told me on several occasions that he felt bored in his current honors math class. He went on to ask his school counselor whether he can go to high school for math. The answer was no.
My 5-year-old son attended WW-P Mini Explorer program and Montessori preschool prior to joining the WW-P kindergarten program. He recently told me that he didn’t want to go to school because it was no fun.
What my sons told me had me worried so much! We have handed our boys with trust to the schools for quality education, which should be fun and full of challenges at the same time. Cutting current programs and limiting access to education resources is not just harmful to the kids’ future but also creating financial burden to the families who have been paying hefty property taxes.
Our school district definitely needs changes. However, any changes that would cause tension and possible hatred among different people are not just wrong but also not acceptable.
I urge the WW-P school superintendent and BOE members to work closely with different groups of parents to come up with a functional plan that can unite everyone in the community and restore WW-P’s glory! 
Helen Yin 
Plainsboro 