Glastonbury postpones school closing decision - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Glastonbury postpones school closing decision

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Glastonbury's Board of Education could vote to close Eastbury Elementary School due to declining enrollment. (WFSB photo) Glastonbury's Board of Education could vote to close Eastbury Elementary School due to declining enrollment. (WFSB photo)
GLASTONBURY, CT (WFSB) -

The Glastonbury Board of Education has postponed a decision to close one of its six elementary schools.

The Board of Education has been considering closing Eastbury Elementary School after the 2016-2017 academic year.

If it closes, five elementary schools will be left in the district.

"These kids, because they're so few of them, there's enough to fill a school, but there are so few, they've really bonded," said Erika Schwartz, a parent. "They all know every kid in the grade."

Superintendent Dr. Alan Bookman said the roughly 260 students would be reassigned between two of those five schools in order to make the transition as easy as possible.

Bookman sought to reassure parents that the board isn't taking the decision lightly.

"Whether Eastbury closes or not, it is our responsibility to make sure the quality of the education does not change," he said.

Bookman said in 2014, the district began looking at the possibility of closing two schools if student enrollment fell by too much. He said because enrollment plateaued, the board is closer to making a decision on a closure. The threshold was 2,000 students.

He said they're at about 3,000 students.

"We're not in any position to close two schools into the foreseeable future, we would be able to close one school," Bookman said.

Parents told Eyewitness News that they appreciate the effort to maintain a routine for their children, but they said there has to be another way.

"I'm sure we don't have to go this way to cut some money," said Aida Budd, a parent. "I think we can do other things. There are many other ways to save."    

Parents also said they're hoping the board is leaning towards keeping the school open. They said they're worried closing the school would sway some teachers to leave.

"If you start losing the high-quality teachers, they're the people that are one-on-one with your kids everyday," said Lisa Collette, a parent.

The board said it will make a decision next Monday at a special session.

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