Candidate profile: Apryl Rossi
Apryl Rossi is running for a two-year seat on the Wareham School Committee with a plan to “bridge the gap” between parents and school officials.
A Wareham resident for ten years, Rossi said she’s noticed a large disconnect between parents and the committee, especially when it comes to issues like school choice.
“I applaud what the people on the School Committee have been doing,” Rossi said. “But when you see the same complaints popping up again and again, it’s time to change your approach.”
Rossi has a son who’s currently attending Wareham High School, and while her full-time job is at the Tara Dean Hair Studio in Onset, she’s donated countless hours to the town’s Parent Teacher Associations and even substitutes from time to time.
Rossi has also been a volunteer at the Boys & Girls club and a cheerleading coach and board member for the Wareham Tigers. She helped the athletic association make the transition from Pop Warner to Old Colony football last year.
“I know what it’s like as a parent and a teacher,” Rossi said. “I have the ability to look at every single piece of the equation and take myself out so that I can try to be prepared for all kinds of questions.”
If elected to the committee, Rossi said her priority would be to encourage more parent involvement and feedback to try and stop families from taking their students out of the district through school choice.
On her Facebook campaign page, Rossi said she conducted a survey which 60 Wareham parents responded to.
The survey asked these parents, who had chosen to take their children out of Wareham Schools, if the committee had ever contacted to learn the reason why.
Of those that took the survey, Rossi said only 3 replied “yes.”
“That’s 57 families we let go without asking why,” Rossi said. “We can’t beg people to come back, but if we can address the concerns of the people who are already gone then we can start to make changes that will prevent students from leaving in the future.”
Rossi, who said she’s spoken privately with several local parents about school choice, feels that Wareham is losing many of its “middle of the road” students.
“We have great programs for our advanced students and special ed,” she said. “But the average kids just aren’t getting enough attention, and that’s why they’re leaving in droves.”
With a marketing degree from Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vermont, Rossi said she wants to use her prior public relations experience to improve the reputation of Wareham’s schools.
“I think the committee needs to do some soul searching,” she said. “It’s time to find creative solutions that benefit all students.”