The question of how many schools Southborough needs in the face of declining enrollment has been an ongoing – and often heated – debate for several years now. A study released this week suggests the town could get away with closing one school as soon as 2016, but the K-8 School Committee isn’t necessarily convinced it’s a good idea.
The study, which identifies Neary as the most realistic option for closing, was the work of the K-8 Housing Study Group convened last fall by the K-8 School Committee. The group was comprised of town department heads, school administrators, and Chairman of the Board of Selectmen John Rooney.
Reports the Metrowest Daily News:
Chairwoman Linda Murdock, principal of the Neary Elementary School, said Wednesday that the committee analyzed a wealth of enrollment and other projections in coming to its conclusions.
The report states that although there would be physically possible to fit all K-8 students into three schools by the 2015-2016 school year, doing so would create “significant” negative educational impacts.
By 2016-2017, the impacts would be “small or moderate,” the study finds, while in 2017-2018 there would be “small or no educational impacts.”
Projected cost savings per year range from $140,000 to $300,000, the committee said, with the town saving more but also assuming more risk if it chooses to designate the building for temporary use.
You can read more about conclusions from the study, along with the School Committee’s response, in this article by the MWDN.