Consultants who conducted reconfiguration study suggest 6 to 8 configuration, closing LE

That does not mean that the board already has its mind made up concerning LE.

"We understand why the proposal is upsetting," Lawson said. "We want to hear from people. I just hope folks will be mindful of the educational impact of this and not just their emotional feelings."

Lawson noted that the plan was not to completely close the school, but to phase out the elementary school and turn it into part of the middle school.

"There would still be a school presence in the village," he said.

The board is expected to vote on the matter at its Oct. 23 meeting.

Herculean efforts

LE parents, led by Cook and her husband, are spearheading a publicity campaign to get as many people to the Oct. 5 meeting as possible.

"We're going through Herculean efforts to make sure people hear about it," Cook said. "This is our only opportunity to make ourselves heard."

In an effort to publicize the study's results and to organize a response, Cook held a meeting Monday Oct. 2 at the Liverpool Methodist Church. At least a hundred people attended the meeting. No board members were among them, despite being invited; the only administrator present was LE Principal William Mugridge.

"The board can't make a decision based on a subset of the community that is emotional and upset," Cook said. "We need to take time to digest this information and to respond effectively."

Cook and others at the meeting presented some very effective arguments as to why LE should not be closed. First and foremost, it is, as most of the schools in the district are, a community school. It has the highest number of walkers in the district.

LE's closing would also affect all other district schools. First, the populations of displaced students have to go somewhere, thus affecting the enrollment and class size at the schools they would then attend. Second, the availability of services, especially for special needs students, could push those students to schools as far away as Willow Field.

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