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LETTER: More to Lyman School District story

To the Editor:

In response to your Feb. 7 article, "Lyman School District considering streamlining K-5th grade classes", it may be wise for The Daily Republic to take another look on what is really going on with their neighbors to the west. The pretty picture presented by the retiring Mr. Vlasman couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, the communities that make up the Lyman School District were blindsided by presentation in January from an "Instruction Committee" that told two communities that they were each loosing half of their elementary schools. The entire plan consisted of about dozen slides, most of which were graphs. No research, no reports, no written plans, nothing. They want to tear apart our entire school structure with no plan. The committee was assembled less than five months ago with the stated purpose of looking at curriculum. They have met outside of the public's eye so as to avoid their input. Now they have the communities of Lower Brule, Reliance, Kennebec, Presho, Vivian, and all of the country folks scrambling to figure out what is going on. The Board is also jamming this through before a March 1 deadline, needing multiple special meetings.

Mr. Vlasman also failed to mention that the meeting last Monday (which was not regularly scheduled as reported: it was moved up a week) was outraged parents asking questions about busing, which will increase drastically for our youngest students and require more buses; remodeling, which will have to be designed, bid, and constructed in less than six months; and just why in the world all of this is such a big emergency that the Board can't come up with a well thought out, properly vetted plan. No plan was presented, and the Board's response was, "Trust us, we'll figure it out."

I have always admired and respected The Daily Republic for its coverage of our schools as we are often left in the gap. We have big problems out here with this plan, far more than "some kinks." Please don't take this lame duck Superintendent at his word, there is more to the story.

Colby Brakke