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Friday, October 31, 2014
Parents’ petition calls for ‘status quo’ at East School
Board of Education looks to hear from all sides at forum
By Alexandra Spychalsky
Alyson Goodman/Herald file photo
Parents plan to submit a petition to the Board of Education voicing their opposition to the repurposing of East School.

More than 500 residents have signed a petition calling for the Board of Education to vote for the “status quo” option — one of five options proposed for the city’s schools — in order to keep East School open to students.

But parents had to wait to present their signatures to the board, when Tuesday’s facilities utilization forum had to be postponed due to the snowstorm. The forum, presented by Schools Superintendent David Weiss, was rescheduled for Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m., at the Long Beach Middle School, and will take the place of the scheduled Board of Education work session.

In 2012 the district created a facilities study group, made up of parents, teachers, residents and school employees, to explore ways to reconfigure the district to make the most efficient use of its buildings. The group was also tasked with finding a location for the administrative offices, which were condemned due to Hurricane Sandy damage. It made its first presentation in November, laying out 11 options. Since then they have been narrowed to five, with two calling for repurposing East School as an administrative building, two suggesting a restructuring of the elementary school grades and one calling for leaving things as is but housing the administration at Lindell school.

East School parent Sabrina Lomonte decided to circulate a petition urging school board trustees not to make any changes to the elementary school structure or to repurpose East School, but rather to maintain the status quo. The petition reads in part, “The proposed school changes will result in a savings of less than one percent of the more than $123 million school budget. Our children and community are worth more than one percent!”

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