Citizens for a Better Norwood 3

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Allison Elementary Petition

School Board Members:

We, the undersigned parents, students, neighbors and concerned citizens, request that you VOTE NO on September 18th, on the resolution to propose closing Allison Street Elementary.
We are not convinced that the potential cost savings of moving forward with this plan now clearly outweigh the potential harm to children and to the school system.

Before proposing to close any school, the board must be able to answer at least the following nine questions:

Financial/Academic Concerns
1. What are the expected financial and academic benefits of closing the school? A detailed accounting of cost savings, not generalizations, should be provided.
2. How and why was this particular school selected for closure?
3. Why were other “rightsizing” possibilities (such as downsizing buildings or sharing space) rejected in favor of closing this school? Instead of closing a school, why not move central administration offices into schools and close headquarters?
4. How will the academic programs of the two schools be combined? What will be the course offerings? What will be the expected class sizes? Will there be sufficient teachers, staff and counselors?

Detailed Planning/Information Sharing

5. What are the detailed plans, with timelines, to ensure that the receiving schools (facilities and educational programs) will be ready for the large influx of students?
6. What are the plans for the school building that will be closed? What impact will the close building have on surrounding property values?
7. Have the plans been developed in conjunction with the stakeholders, and has enough transition time been provided, to ensure that departure from Allison Elementary by parents and teachers will be minimized?
8. What attendance zone boundary changes are being proposed, and has the required analysis of demographic data and impact on the school system been conducted?

Safety Concerns

9. How far and across how many heavy-traffic roadways will children attending the receiving school be required to walk, to go to school?

We do not believe that closing Allison Street Elementary will be beneficial to any of our Norwood City School students or that it will create long term savings for our city. We look forward to continued dialogue, including a public roundtable where these and other questions can be addressed. We firmly reject the closing of our school.
Thank you.

By signing below, I am in favor of the Norwood City School Board to conduct further analysis and answer the nine questions provided above be answered before making any final decisions on closing a school.