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LE to remain open

After a tremendous negative response from the community, the Liverpool Central School District's Board of Education has decided not to go ahead with a plan to reconfigure the middle and elementary grades by phasing out Liverpool Elementary.

The district had asked Castallo and Silky Consultants to conduct an elementary and middle school grade reconfiguration study. After a year-long study, the consultants recommended switching to a K-5/6-8 configuration. In order to accommodate more students, the consultants advised the district to close LE and convert it into a middle school annex.

In a release issued by Board President J. Mark Lawson on Tuesday Oct. 17, the board noted that the proposal did not have enough support to be adopted. Lawson stated that he and Superintendent Jan Matousek discussed the matter with the board before deciding not to move forward with the proposal.

Lawson said that he and Board Vice President David Savlov decided to informally poll the other board members yesterday. "This has never been on the agenda," he said. "We had to decide whether or not to even put it on the agenda."

Based on the response and the lack of support for the proposal, Lawson said the board decided that it would not even take the proposal under consideration.

The board and administration are very sensitive to the many concerns that have been raised by the community, Lawson said. We are equally concerned that the original purpose of determining the best way to educate Liverpool students is getting lost in the debate over this proposal. We need to step back and refocus on the challenges we face at the middle level.

What's next?

The board will continue to consider the reconfiguration proposal.

"Now we can step back and refocus the discussion on middle school education," Lawson said. "We spent so much time talking about LE, and I can understand that. It's an emotional subject. But it distracted us from what we're really concerned about. Now we can make a better case about middle school education."

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