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Archive for Tuesday, October 23, 1990

SCHOOL CLARIFICATION

October 23, 1990

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To the Editor:

I wish to clarify what I consider to be a completely inaccurate statement in the Special Report from the Board of Education to the citizens of Lawrence. I was the chairperson of the Secondary School Task Force which was appointed by the Lawrence school board in November 1987 to consider the problems resulting from the anticipated growth in the secondary school population and to recommend a solution to those problems. The task force membership represented a cross-section of the population of Lawrence. There were two members of the school board on the task force.

The task force met over a period of seven months and considered every aspect of the situation and all possible solutions, within certain restrictions which the school board had imposed. Our final report recommended that there continue to be only one high school in Lawrence, but that it be housed in two buildings, one for grades 9 and 10, the other for grades 11 and 12.

Shortly after the task force submitted its report, the school board decided to reject the proposal and voted in favor of a second high school. Since then, the school board has been campaigning for a second high school. In a recent letter to the people of Lawrence, the school board made a completely inaccurate statement about the task force: It said that the task force was "widely divided" in its recommendations. The fact is that during its April 26 meeting, members of the task force were asked to write down their first-ranked choice of the options. Eighteen votes were turned in. Seven people voted for one high school; only three people voted for two high schools; seven people voted for a mid-high/senior high; one person voted for one high school, grades 10-12, leaving ninth-graders at the junior highs. Members spent the rest of the meeting discussing the pros and cons of each of the options. At the end of the April 26 meeting, a motion was made and seconded to build a new facility, with provision for a mid-high/senior high, with juniors and seniors in a new facility and freshmen and sophomores in the present LHS facility. Motion carried. No minority report was filed.

Edwyna Condon Gilbert,

2901 Oxford.

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