To the editor:
As a local private educational consultant and a recent substitute teacher at New York School who has served on their site council and also a business partner through the Lawrence Education Achievement Partners (LEAP) foundation, I would like to speak out against their potential closing.
Although having a small 136 enrollment, this federally funded Title I school, with 63 percent of children qualifying for mandated free and reduced-price lunches has remained vital to the stability of the East Lawrence community. The school meets the PTA national standards for Family-School Partnerships (pta.org) by collaborating with the Lawrence neighborhood community and supports the PTA standards motto “Every Child — One Voice.” Over the years, I also have witnessed many local businesses (as many as 11) requesting LEAP partnerships with New York School, eager to serve these economically disadvantaged children in a personal way.
As a substitute teacher, I found professional, high-quality daily lesson plans with eager-to-please students and helpful staff. Close attentional support is given to each child in the educational process by a group of dedicated, veteran teachers, many who have taught only at that school in their careers. These children are given the opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and psychologically in a warm, caring, intimate setting, making Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) standards. No doubt that if this school closes, it will be a detriment not only to the children and their caring parents, but to the neighborhood, staff, support teams and Lawrence as a whole.
Jan Kuyper Erland,