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The OBSERVER’s View: School’s decision will build bridges

Perhaps Fredonia school board President Brian Aldrich said it best when talking about changing demographics in the district. Aldrich, a lifelong resident, in a statement gave his backing to the hiring of a Hispanic outreach coordinator.

“When I went through school, I can’t remember any Hispanic families in this district,” Aldrich said. “Going from a district having no Hispanic students to now having over 200, this is a trend, it’s not a blip. It’s going to continue on in this direction, so we have to adapt.”

According to the most recent U.S. Census numbers, 8% of the village’s population of 9,585 is Hispanic — that is a major increase in recent years. With that being said, it is great to see the school board take action for better communication with both students and parents who do not speak English.

Already, major districts in Dunkirk and Jamestown have programs and staff available to reach out to this population. Superintendent Brad Zilliox also spoke of the importance. “We have about 200 students in the district that are in some way shape or form connected to those with Hispanic heritage,” he said. “Not all of those students require translating or any type of assistance with English, but many of them do, or their family members do.”

All things considered, this is an excellent step for Fredonia that can only build on already well-established relationships.

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