Invest in our children’s future; invest in renovation

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By Thursday, Oct 2 Learning, Letters  5 Comments

To the Editor:

In the medical profession we place great emphasis on the Informed Decision. We want patients to understand completely, as much as possible, before making decisions regarding their care. We do everything we can to avoid poor outcomes, complications, and surprises. We often have to correct misinformation, educate, listen to concerns, and reassure. Ultimately, we have to create a bond of trust.

We also stress the importance of being proactive. Mammograms, colonoscopies, and checkups are just a few examples of proactive behavior that can save lives. Numerous cancers and conditions are curable and/or have significantly better outcomes when caught early.  Being proactive often prevents serious illness or significantly diminishes the negative impacts of a disease.

I urge the voting community members of Berkshire Hills Regional School District to make sure that they have all the necessary information they need to make an informed decision and to vote proactively on Election Day for our children’s future and renovate Monument Mountain High School. There is an abundance of misinformation being disseminated regarding the proposed renovation. I encourage people to educate themselves before making a decision.  Please, for the sake of the children, take the time to visit Ask questions and get accurate answers.  Visit the high school and see firsthand the physical state of the school.

Finally, I ask that you, the voting members and taxpayers of our community, to put your trust in the experts and educators that have spent countless hours researching this proposed renovation. They have been and continue to be transparent about the entire process. These people have dedicated their lives to education and providing the best learning environment possible to our children. They are the experts and they want what’s best for the children. Let’s remember why they do what they do, be proactive, inform ourselves and do what we know is right for the next generation.

Mark A. Sprague, M.D.



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5 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Rebecca Gold says:

    Great letter. It also makes me think about how hospitals need to evolve physically to keep up with changing methods of care. Similarly, schools need to be updated in order to stay current.

  2. Patrick Fennell says:

    What are the overall test scores for the kids in the two new schools? Are they higher than when they were in the older schools?

  3. douglas stephenson says:

    Perhaps DR. Sprague needs to step off from the ivory soapbox long enough to understand that this isn’t about “cancer” or another “significant medical condition” it is about the current, and indeed future financial viability of our community. There are PLENTY of taxpayers in our community that are barely getting by, needing to watch every dollar that they spend. They don’t have the luxury of a $400,000 plus annual income with which to play. For them (the overwhelming majority of people) there remain serious unanswered questions. There are several PAC’s (Political Action Committees) that have formed that are attempting to ram this project down the taxpayers throats. Acting on behalf of the School Committee they have spread their own brand of misinformation. “This is our ONLY chance to get State money” “the State won’t pay for any type of renovation other than what is proposed” “if this doesn’t pass we will fall to the back of the line for State funding”. And the School Committee (and the Administration) have been complicit in their mistruths with their silence. Now the truth has begun to come out. There IS a “third option”. “But it is too expensive” they say. My answer is simple. SHOW ME. If you are going to expect me to pay THAT much money for ANYTHING you had better be prepared to back it up. Show me your work. I wouldn’t expect Dr. Sprague would have a problem with a patient that wanted to see the details of all the alternative now, would he?

    1. Mark Sprague, MD says:

      I believe that Douglas has missed the points of my letter. I’m well aware this isn’t about cancer or a significant medical condition. My analogies used were simply to stress the importance of informed decisions and the positive results of proactive behavior. There are some that simply believe the school committee is being dishonest and they haven’t done enough research on this topic. That’s unfortunate. These are civic minded community members dedicated to education and the future of our children. I know them and I believe them. The facts are simple and they are expensive. The school needs major work and the experts are giving us their advice on the best way to go about doing it. If we ignore them, we will be paying more in taxes, over a longer period of time, and significantly disrupting our children’s ability to receive a high quality education. By voting YES on both questions on November 4th, you will be paying less in the long run. Please reach out to or make a phone call to a school committee member to get the facts you need. Instead of a “SHOW ME” attitude, I urge people such as Mr Stephenson to show the children and the rest of the community you care by voting yes on both questions on November 4th.

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