Did you attend the District’s Facilities Master Plan community meetings? If you were like us, we were deeply disappointed with a “process” that lacked information, data or an exchange of ideas. What did we learn?
- The District has not defined a clear rubric for assessing buildings and programs in the District.
- We do not have a clear definition of “quality seats.”
- The District has not provided us with a map of buildings with facilities problems or identified the line between acceptable and unacceptable building conditions.
- The District seems to be moving away from neighborhood options, especially as students get into the middle & upper grades.
- The District has not developed responses to concerns raised around student access, namely assuring families of guaranteed transportation, identifying neighborhood crossings which may be or perceived to be dangerous, and helping prepare and resource schools for arriving students.
- The District will not release the list of 60 schools identified for closure by the Boston Consulting Group, a group under private contract with anonymous donors and a major foundation.
At the most recent SRC meeting, the SRC announced that it intended to suspend rules around the school closings process. Rules suspension can affect the time frame between announcing a proposed school and the SRC vote. It can also affect the number of public meetings that might be held around school closings. Either way, it’s cause for concern since this marks the second consecutive year the SRC has suspended its process.
What we believe:
- The District must provide the public with a detailed map of facilities ranked according to building condition and “quality” in order to consider potential school closings and consolidation options.
- The District must demonstrate how it will invest in remaining schools so that we do not negatively impact functioning schools and continue to address building maintenance.
- Transportation, including yellow bus service for up to 8th grade, must be guaranteed for public school students in parity with charter and parochial schools.
- School closings must be on a multi-year timeline to give parents and communities time to seek viable options and allow receiving schools to prepare for consolidation.
- The District must release the Boston Consulting Group list and discuss it publicly for purposes of transparency and trust.
- The proceeds of the sale of a school building must go into modernizing the facilities of the primary public school the children will attend. Our schools need the investment!
Share your thoughts with us here!