Students were given time to complete the survey in their classes, she said, “because we want them to own this. We want them to have a sense of belonging.”
“We should all own this,” Roy retorted from the audience. “It’s our community; it’s our school ... If you’re having students vote in their classes, but you’re not letting (the community know), how is that a representative vote?”
LaRocque said that while the district’s budget vote, for example, isn’t necessarily representative, it’s still the official vote, “and unfortunately, that’s kind of what we’re left with.”
Still, she said, the district welcomes suggestions for how to involve more residents in deciding the school’s new name.
In addition, LaRocque told meeting attendees that the name change will save the district “tens of thousands of dollars.”
Peru Central Superintendent Dr. Patrick Brimstein told the Press-Republican in a separate interview that because some services PCSD purchases are priced based on the number of schools in the district, the recent restructuring stands to bring savings, as it combined Peru Central’s four schools into two.
That means the former Middle School and High School can’t go back to two separate names, LaRocque explained at the meeting, as the State Education Department would consider them separate schools, and the district would not be able to realize the savings.
LaRocque also said she and Brimstein take responsibility for the lack of communication about the name change.
“We are owning that that was a mistake, and we’re trying to move forward and have better communication in the future,” she said.
Brimstein told the Press-Republican that he hopes to include everyone who wishes to be involved in deciding the school’s final name. The district is considering holding a public forum sometime next month to discuss the results of the surveys.
Email Ashleigh Livingston:firstname.lastname@example.org