I am pleased to announce that in the early winter, I will be constructing a Lego model of Chester Barrows Elementary in Cranston. At any point in time, I am always considering a lot of different buildings, and what prompted me in this direction was the announcement in November that this school may close. As always, school districts must make hard decisions about resources, but it is imperative that leaders factor in aesthetic and cultural value when making these decisions. Chester Barrows is a wonderful example; it is a classic Rhode Island brick public school building, and it dates from an era when Rhode Islanders took the aesthetics of public buildings very seriously. The style reflects both function and aspiration, and the effect that this has had and continues to have on students cannot be undervalued even though it is difficult to measure in a time of massive standardized testing. While considering dollars and population distributions, are Cranston school leaders also considering these values?
Stay tuned in to my progress!