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April 3, 2013
by: Elizabeth Beattie

Board of Education Community Input Session

The last two nights the Board of Education held community input sessions at Urban Middle School. The SASD Executive Management Team (EMT) reviewed the recommendation made to the Board of Education regarding Washington School. The Board and EMT took questions and heard feedback on the recommendation. The recommendation made by the EMT would enable ESAA to grow as school. The new location would provide space for us to have two classrooms at each grade level. For the 2013-14 school year, we will be adding a second 3rd grade classroom. Over the next two years, there would be space available to add a second 4th grade and then a second 5th grade classroom. As you read below, the Executive Management Team presented a second proposal. This new proposal will not enable us to grow as a school. 

On March 19, the EMT recommended to: Close Washington School at the end of the 2012-13 school year. 

Starting in the 2013-14 school year:

  • Washington Students will attend Grant Elementary or Jefferson Elementary 
  • Elementary School for the Arts and Academics (ESAA) will be relocated to Pigeon River Elementary School
  • Students living in the southern non-connected Pigeon River 'island' attendance area will attend Cooper or James Madison Elementary
  • To ease the transition, bussing will be provided for 2 years to families affected by the Washington and Pigeon River boundary changes

As SASD Administration read communications from parents and staff, it also became clear that "disrupting the least number of students" could be another criteria. The Executive Management Team in their initial recommendation did not use this criterion, but EMT has put together another proposal that could be considered, which involves less disruption of students. 

Alternative Proposal:

  • Close Washington Elementary School
  • Washington students would attend Jefferson, Cooper, and Pigeon River schools
  • Add classrooms to Cooper Elementary
  • Continue free after-school programming at Cooper, Pigeon River and two south side elementary schools (cost of approximately $50,000 per school year, with the cost earmarked from the savings of closing Washington)
  • Elementary School for the Arts and Academics would remain at their current location and the Pigeon River 'island' would remain in the Pigeon River attendance area

The Executive Management Team (EMT) continues to support the initial recommendation as the best option. 

The Board will take action on the recommendation at a Special Session meeting on Tuesday, April 9 at 6:00 p.m. in the North High School commons. 

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