Kudos for Good School Plan

I would like to applaud and congratulate School Board members John A. Andrews II (Broad Run) and Candyce P. Cassell (Sugarland Run) for creating a well-balanced and equitable plan for the new Countryside Elementary School boundary and surrounding eastern Loudoun schools.

They should be commended for putting the best interests of all students of eastern Loudoun first and foremost and for creating a plan that positions all eastern Loudoun schools for continued and future success.

This plan was supported and adopted for many reasons, including that it:

* Looks after the needs of all students in all communities in eastern Loudoun, not just a few.

* Creates only one split school with a 50/50 distribution.

* Keeps all schools comfortably within building program capacities.

* Promotes a unified plan across all communities.

* Distributes fairly and equitably at-risk ELs (neighborhoods with high numbers of low-performing students).

* Provides an adequate volunteer base for all schools.

* Keeps transportation needs within acceptable levels.

* Allows walkers to keep walking.

* Puts EL30 students back with middle and high school peers.

* Balances needs and identities of each school with those of its surrounding communities.

* Positions all schools for success going forward.

I thank all the School Board members who supported Andrews and Cassell in adopting this boundary proposal. Thank you for listening to, and putting up with, all the yelling, screaming, reasoning, hair-pulling and bellyaching. We did it because we believe that our children's future lies in their education.

You should feel proud that you have laid the foundation for the continued success at all of our schools and of all of our children. The Andrews-Cassell plan is a fair and equitable plan from which everyone can build upon. The infrastructure that you have helped create will leave a lasting legacy, which we as parents can work with and help build upon.

You have the full support of a great many concerned parents and constituents of eastern Loudoun behind you.

Paul Lin


Enough to Make You Sick

Like nurse Sara Perry ["Unacceptable Behavior," Letters to the Editor, Loudoun Extra, Dec. 5], I, too, found Loudoun Hospital Center remarkably insensitive to patients. This happened to me in March:

After examination in the emergency room for unrelenting, teeth-clenching pain (a kidney stone? It was never determined), I lay for hours in a cold, way-too-bright room. Was I to be admitted? It was late at night. Any prognosis? MRI results?

Finally, convinced no one knew I was there, I took the tape off the back of my hand, pulled out the IV, found my clothes and cell phone and called a cab. On the way out, I was given a prescription for a morphine derivative. "Come back if it gets worse," they said.

Twenty-four hours later, I was back, in excruciating pain, the prescription exhausted. Another MRI but no pain meds this time. Another sequence of hours staring at the ceiling, waiting for the doctor's return, advice, a diagnosis, something, anyone. I began calling out toward the nurses' desk. "Anybody there? . . . Hello-oo."

Following the sound of my voice, the switchboard operator found me and promised to find my doctor. When the doctor eventually floated in, it was clear that he hadn't slept in days. As I tried to pry information out of him, he seemed to be laughing at some inside joke. He gave me the name of a specialist.

I dressed, relieved just to get out of there, and hobbled to the desk to get something to go home with, for the pain.

"The doctor didn't leave a prescription for you."

"Hey, I'm in pain, and my prescription ran out. I need something."

"I'm sorry, the doctor's gone."

"Well, who's on duty now?"

"I am."

"Listen, I can't go from a morphine to nothing. At earliest, I won't see a specialist 'til Monday."

"There's nothing I can do."

"Of course, there's something you can do. My records are right here. I've been here for hours. They did an MRI. . . . "

"I don't know anything about you."

"Then can't we call the doctor? He couldn't have left more than 10 minutes ago."

"No. He's been on duty for two days. He's going home to sleep."

"This is absolutely unbelievable," I said, tears dripping down my cheeks.

"I'm sorry," she said, annoyed.

Of course, the bills for all that show up every 30 days. Like clockwork.

Karen Chaffraix