To the editor:
Parents at Wakarusa Valley School had the opportunity March 2 to meet with Lawrence Public Schools Superintendent Rick Doll and Chief Academic Officer Kim Bodensteiner during the school’s site council meeting. Doll discussed scenarios that may play out as a result of the district’s Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force’s report recommending the closing of Wakarusa and a short-term plan to consolidate up to six other elementary schools.
If the report’s recommendations are adopted as submitted, the Board of Education will close Wakarusa at the end of this school year. Further, they will move toward consolidating, in some fashion, Sunset Hill, Hillcrest, Pinckney, Cordley, Kennedy and New York. Consolidation (read as close additional schools) would occur over the next few years.
During budget reductions last year, then board president Scott Morgan, proposed “mothballing” Wakarusa for a few years. According to Doll, this would still be the plan. In other words, Wakarusa may be reopened in a few years.
In summary, the task force is recommending:
Close one school now that meets facility requirements, and needs no immediate updates or repairs, which will be reopened later.
Update for ADA compliance and repair schools that will soon be consolidated (closed).
Build new schools.
Let’s summarize the summary: Close a school this year that will reopen in a few years, while keeping open schools that will be closed in a few years.
As granddad would have said, “That is just backasswards.”