SWCC’s Education Committee Chair Call For Community-Wide Mobilization to Keep School No. 44 From Closing


We need to mobilize.

This morning Chief Shirley Green was at School 44 telling the staff that they are going to have to close the school and some other school yet to be determined will move in! John Laing and I attended. Here is a quick summary of the path Forward history:

The Path Forward, at least partially, was pursued in response to a SW community meeting to meet the new Superintendent, held at School 44.

Mary Adams noted in that meeting that it would be beneficial as a new leader for the Superintendent to take a comprehensive look at existing facilities and district-wide needs and consider recommending changes to the FMP Phase 2 plan based on some significant developments that have occurred since the Board last approved that plan.

Mary laid out the well-documented lack of capacity for a 3-year old in expanded pre-K, the documented need for more space to meet varied specialized student needs, the current commitment to eliminate ALL portables, and the demolition of School 15 on Averill.

All of these could mean that it would be unwise to close School 44 as planned when School 16 re-opens on Post Ave; we might need to keep School 44 open.

I was somewhat dismissed by the Superintendent in that meeting - she said she would need collective Board guidance to comprehensively look at facilities. Mary immediately wrote the resolution and it was passed unanimously directing the Superintendent to do this.

The Path Forward involved a bunch of consulting and staff time, etc. with the promise to deliver comprehensive data to the Board, along with approximately THREE OPTIONS presented as alternative RECOMMENDATIONS FOT THE BOARD TO CONSIDER.

Today Shirley Green told the staff [at school 44] there will be no kindergarten next year and the school will close after the 18/19 School year and she doesn’t know what the building will be used for.

Keep in mind School 44 is one of the few schools in good standing. It has been intentionally shrunk in terms of enrollment by placement despite Board directives to the contrary.

I had heard this was going to take place and asked Liz Hallmark about it at our SWCC Education Committee last night (1/24) and she knew nothing about this.

The Board should have had a decision on which path to follow. The staff at 44 have been jerked around for many years now. We try to build teachers up and the district breaks their spirits at every turn.

We have work to do!

John Boutet, Chair

SWCC Education Committee

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