Comment history

Split developing on whether it's a good idea to move 9th graders to high school

I completely agree with Jackson5 there needs to be a complete financial analysis of this move, short term and long range planning! What if we move 9th graders and 6th graders, will we end up with overcrowded high schools, an expensive middle school population ( there have been previous postings saying Jr. High has the highest cost per pupil) AND empty elementary buildings causing neighborhood decline and eliminating the neighborhood school concept. I also agree that people are "tired" from the elementary school closure fiasco that we have recently experienced. We need to show up if we are concerned about the future of Lawrence schools. Regardless of your stance, show up and be heard - see the big picture, don't be complacent about the high school and middle school issue just because you have elementary kids. They are all tied together.

April 14, 2010 at 11:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Proposed ninth-grade shift draws range of responses

Honestone, would they be lions or firebirds? What about classes and activities that cross grade levels? For ex. A 10th grader taking calculus or Latin or playing varsity sports? Wouldn't transportation costs go through the roof?

April 2, 2010 at 11:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dr. Doll Just Waiting to Close Schools

Just curious why it has been the board naming names of potential school closures. There is a complete policy on school closures on the usd497 site - here is the link:

I wanted to copy a specific phrase from this policy, "Initially, the superintendent shall make recommendations to the board concerning any facility that may be discontinued as an attendance center."

Why the comment "...... but I serve at the pleasure of the board,” Doll said.???? Who's in charge here? If school closures are in our future, there needs to be a comprehensive study of the buildings, displacement of the fewest kids, boundaries - it can't be just a whimsical comment at a board meeting or an administrator saying he was given "no direction" so he just "chose a few" to illustrate the cost savings! We need leadership and a long range plan. The way this has been handled has been awful for patrons of the school district (students, parents, employees) with no warning, your school could be mentioned at the next board meeting!!!!

March 21, 2010 at 9 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Share the burden

I was at the meeting, In all fairness to the QR parents and at the risk of pointing a finger, I believe there was a presence from Langston Hughes that also presented the idea that closing schools was more palatable to them than raising the student teacher ratio. A few QR parents ALSO made this point - so you (Did_I_Say_That) are correct - but they were not alone in their stance. I have a hard time with this argument since school closures would not affect LH or Sunflower at all (unless QR was the school that was closed) See school closure examples on the district website, Feb 2nd study session So, of course, they don't want to see the ratio increased. No one want to see the ratio increased, but we are all in this together, it is unfair that some school would be untouched and others would be eliminated, divided and absorbed!

March 6, 2010 at 8:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Share the burden

Does anyone know what the building capacity is at Quail Run? 527 OR 580 sounds like too many kids for that building! I have heard certain board members say it's not an either/or situation, student teacher ratio increase is in ADDITION to potential school closings. WHAT will this do to test scores? How many kids will fall through the cracks in overcrowded classrooms and overcrowded schools? I'm on board with the Save Our Neighborhood Schools and Wakarusa groups who have found alternative and creative solutions that do not involve school closings. Combined with some of the cuts found by our USD497 administration, we can surely get there for next school year. CONTACT legislators in Topeka, we need to get to the root of the problem and soon! This will benefit ALL children, east and west, in our district!

March 6, 2010 at 6:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Hidden agenda?

Hooray for this lte! Also for clevercowgirl's statement at 12:32pm and many other responses here! At the last board meeting, Scott Morgan mentioned the need for a more modern elementary building in central Lawrence. We need to make the most of what we have in this economy. We don't need new schools, we don't need more land. If we have so much space in our elementary schools now, perhaps we built one school too many? (sorry LH, I know you are a good school) What we do need is a long range plan that benefits the children and future children of this community, the entire community! We do need to maintain and support what we do have, be thankful that our diverse community has a diverse choice in schools (small, large, neighborhood, rural, walkable, ESL concentration) let's keep it that way!

February 28, 2010 at 8:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Equal sacrifice

I truly appreciate what this lte has to say. A school IS a community. Do people lack the ability to empathize with families at schools that have been targeted for closure? Imagine if it were your west side school being split and moved into four surrounding schools. All elementary schools will be affected by school closure, there will surely be a shifting of boundaries to accommodate the displaced students. Unless you are living across the street from one of the untouchable schools, your situation may change next year, too. If nothing else, larger class sizes are surely in our future as a result of school closure or teacher student ratio increases. Many central and east side residents supported the bond issue and the building of new schools out west when there was growth and a perceived need. Now we seem to have too much space? Did we build one school too many? When the board asks in the near future for another bond issue, we need to think long and hard on that topic!

February 28, 2010 at 11:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

One district

Please keep in mind that closing ANY Lawrence School will have ramifications for all schools. Try absorbing 300 central Lawrence students into surrounding schools. How about 200 kids from the southern edge of town? If east side schools close, will there be a shift westward to push our west side schools beyond capacity? If this happens, new boundaries are sure to be drawn, we know class sizes will increase regardless if the method is increasing student/teacher ratio or closing schools. I think we DO need to come together as a community to prevent the closing of any neighborhood school. Increasing the student/teacher ratio will share the burden among all schools. Keep in mind East and Central Lawrence, at one time, supported all of the bond issues that built the "untouchable schools".

February 24, 2010 at 11:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )