Ripley students will have to wait another month before making their case about tuitioning to the district Board of Education.
The students came forward with their survey at a recent board meeting, but were asked to postpone their presentation until the January meeting. The survey had been initiated and conducted by Ripley students led by junior Allison Fisher, who got permission from Karen Krause, district superintendent, and Lauren Ormsby, school principal. The survey collected responses from 128 students in sixth through 11th grades about the possibility of those grades being tuitioned to Chautauqua Lake Central School starting in the fall.
"I just want to show everyone what we have to say because we have a stake in this," Fisher said at the beginning of the presentation. "We don't have a vote, but our parents do and they should know what we think."
At that point, Robert Bentley, board president, asked the students if they would mind waiting until the January board meeting to make their presentation.
"I just received this survey about 10 minutes ago and would like some time to review it," he said.
The students agreed, but when contacted later, Fisher said she and the other students were upset about being postponed.
The survey had eight questions. The results are:
1. Do you want the district to tuition? Yes - 35. No - 83. No opinion - 10.
2. Should elementary also tuition? Yes - 48. No - 62. No opinion - 17.
3. If tuitioned, where would you prefer? Westfield - 27. Sherman - 63. Chautauqua Lake - 36.
4. Are you able to take the classes you want at (Ripley Central School)? Yes - 56. No - 61. No opinion - 11.
5. Is there a class not offered at (Ripley Central School) that you would like to take? Yes - 72. No - 37. No opinion - 19.
6. Do you feel that having a larger student class would benefit you? Yes - 47. No - 64. No opinion - 17.
7. Would you be interested in taking college level or advance placement classes? Yes - 67. No - 39. No opinion - 22.
8. Is there a club or sport not offered at (Ripley Central School) that you would like to take? A variety of answers were given.
"We immediately felt shut down," she said. "Our results should have been showed because our voices matter too. We may be kids, but we are important."
Fisher said it took a week to develop the survey. Then she spent more than a week getting approval, distributing and collecting the survey. She said the students involved will be sure to be at the next board meeting.
"Our survey should have been shown at the board meeting," she said. "Our results are great and people need to know what we, as the students, have to say. I'm up for a challenge at the next board meeting. I'm not going to be afraid and step down. I and all the other kids will stand our ground and make sure people know our results. We really do matter."