WALLINGFORD, CT (WFSB) - Wallingford teachers, parents, and students are fighting back against proposals that would close local schools.
District leaders are discussing the controversial plans at a school board meeting on Monday night.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Lyman Hall High School and this is a very emotional topic that could impact hundreds of district families.
District leaders say they face major challenges due to declining enrollment as well as woefully out of date facilities.
As a result, the board is looking into six different proposals including five that would involve closing district schools.
One plan even calls for merging the two high schools in town, Lyman and Sheehan High School.
"A lot of school districts in the area have really large high schools and you know the morale is terrible in those schools, students become just a number and they don't get that support that they need," said Louis Faiella, Wallingford Education Association.
Drew Benard is worried about the future of the district because two of the six plans call for merging Lyman Hall an Sheehan. He believes that would be a big mistake and lead to large class sizes.
"Students would fall through the cracks and I think that's bad for personal development as well as education," aid Benard.
The majority of people who spoke at the meeting agreed with Benard, but not everyone feels the same way.
Lyman Hall freshman, Keera Reed, thinks consolidating the high schools would lead to more athletic opportunities and help the district deal with the fact that the number of Wallingford students keeps going down.
"The enrollment decline is a huge issue and not many people are seeing that. They're only seeing the budget issue, not the enrollment issue," said Reed.
Superintendent Salvatore Menzo appreciates everyone's passion, but says the board is just starting their fact finding mission.
"Everything has to be looked at closely. The consultants will do more work, we'll do more work, we'll come back together an see where we stand. But again, even at that point, we're still at the very beginning stages of this whole process," said Menzo.
Menzo said there won't be changes for at least 4 years.
Aside from whether to combine the high schools, the board will have to decide whether to renovate the high schools and middle schools or stick with the status quo.