Archive for Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First Bell: Agenda set for next week’s meeting of Consolidation Working Group; Adult Learning Center schedules open house

September 28, 2011


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The agenda is set for the next meeting of the Central and East Lawrence Elementary School Consolidation Working Group, with both procedural and content-oriented topics up for discussion.

The meeting, set for 7 p.m. Monday, will begin with clarification of what group members had decided two weeks earlier regarding how they would reach decisions by consensus.

Members had decided then, by general consensus, that conclusions would be affirmed unless “blocked” by at least five members of the 27-member working group.

The group is charged with recommending how to consolidate district elementary schools, so that a list of six schools — Cordley, Hillcrest, Kennedy, New York, Pinckney and Sunset Hill — should be reduced to three or four within two to three years.

Also on Monday’s agenda:

• Consider whether to form a subcommittee to communicate with the school board

• Appoint an executive committee of the working group.

• Discuss capacity data from schools and conduct a question-and-answer session with Rick Doll, superintendent of the Lawrence school district.

• Plan for visiting elementary schools.

• Discuss issues of equity.

• Review potential timeline for work.

After Monday night, the board will have eight more meetings before its recommendations are due to the Lawrence school board by the beginning of February.

Monday’s meeting will be at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive. The meeting is open to the public, but discussion during the meeting is limited to members of the working group, facilitators and district staffers invited to participate.

The Lawrence school board, then with four different members, formed the working group earlier this year. That was after another advisory group — the Lawrence Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force — recommended that the district come up with a plan outlining how (not if) schools should be consolidated, as a way to save money and provide efficient, effective services in a period of persistent budget cuts and other financing challenges.

Members of the working group come from the communities of the six schools identified as candidates for consolidation, plus two from Woodlawn School and an at-large chairman.


Folks at the district’s Adult Learning Center are preparing for an open house Oct. 10 at the center’s new consolidated home, inside the former Centennial School, 2145 La.

The event is set for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“There are lots of new things happening at the center,” said Rick Doll, district superintendent.

The center now occupies the entire building, now that the Lawrence Virtual School has relocated to the former Wakarusa Valley School, which closed at the end of the 2010-11 school year outside the southwestern edge of Lawrence, near Clinton Lake.

The center is home to the district’s GED and diploma-completion programs, and for courses offered through Johnson County Community College.


GMom05 6 years, 9 months ago

They'll say it's because Woodlawn families will be affected by the closure. But really, come on, you just closed one school last year and look at the affects it's had on south Lawrence. You can't tell me you can close 2 or 3 more schools this year and not have it affect the entire district. Everyone should have been entitled to be on that committee, not just Woodlawn. Class sizes matter people, those kids have to go to school somewhere!!! I'm talking to you McDonald Drive!

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