On June 22, 2022

Community weighs in on WCSU name change

By Curt Peterson

Around 262 members of the Windsor Central Supervisory Union (WCSU) community responded to a survey designed to seek opinions about changing the district’s name. The survey was distributed through all the local listservs in the district.

Current students, parents of current students, alumni of the district, and employees contributed to the survey.

One question was, “I am actively engaged in the WCSU community” – 63% said they are, while 13% said they aren’t.

The second question asked, “I am very aware of the happenings at WCSU.” The question drew positive responses from 58%, and negative responses from 18%.

Question three asks the same question, but from a different perspective: “I feel informed of the changes that affect the WCSU community.” Responses were in line with the other questions; 53% agreed, 18% disagreed.

Similarly, “I know (to whom I can reach out) if I have questions about the WCSU community,” elicited 61% affirmatives, 29% negatives.

The numbers show at least half of the respondents believe they are reasonably connected to, and aware of, WCSU culture and operations, and/or feel they can easily access any information they would like.

Changing the name of the district was the inspiration for the survey. Many felt there was confusion with Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union, a neighboring district including Hartford, Hartland, Weathersfield, West Windsor and Windsor. Others thought WCSU too institutional and not expressive of the district’s better characteristics.

“Windsor Central Supervisory Union adequately reflects the culture and values of the community as expressed in our Portrait of a Graduate and Strategic Plan” was felt by 46% to be an untrue statement – 29% were “eh” about it. Only 25% agreed.

But respondents were less clear on their desires – when asked if WCSU should keep its name as is, 40% said they weren’t sure. The “yesses” and “noes” were about evenly split at 31 and 33%.

Opinions about the name WCSU included: “neutral”, “boring,” “average, normal, bland,” “clunky and officious,” “rich and out-of-touch” and “lame,” among others. Some of the positive opinions were, “focus on the whole child”, “diverse, earnest, striving, resilient”, “unity” and “perfect”.

At least seven respondents said transparency and communication were lacking, or, in one comment, “The super and her staff communicate what they want.” These comments may have come from the quarter of respondents who said they weren’t aware of what was happening in the district, didn’t feel informed, or didn’t know how to get information if they wanted it.

Comments also included individual mentions of “bullying,” “racist and antisemitic incidents,” “racial slurs” and “kids are being indoctrinated with liberal views”. T

here were those who disparaged the idea of changing the district name – “many more pressing issues,” “don’t think money should be spent on branding,” and “stop trying to change everything” were three.

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