In April 2021, the Lawrence school board voted to close Kennedy Elementary School to grades K-5 and use it as an early childhood development center.
In January 2022, Lawrence school district staff proposed scenarios that would involve closures and/or consolidations of multiple elementary schools and middle schools. On Feb. 14, 2022, the school board decided to take closures off the table for the coming school year, but said difficult budget conversations would continue.
In February 2023, the superintendent recommended closing three elementary schools and repurposing a middle school. The Lawrence school board voted on Feb. 27, 2023 not to consider Woodlawn Elementary for closure, and to take a year to explore repurposing Liberty Memorial Central Middle School. On March 27, the board voted 4-3 to close Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary schools after the 2022-23 school year.
As the first day of the new school year approaches, 7 crossing guard positions serving 5 Lawrence elementary schools remain unfilled. Construction is also compounding concerns for some parents.
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A former Pinckney Elementary parent is working with an arts-based youth program to bring memories of the now-closed school to students’ new schools.
For the Pinckney Elementary School community, the last day of school this year really does mean the last day of the school.
As the school community embraced, cried and celebrated all at once Wednesday morning, they carried a common message: We will always be Broken Arrow Eagles.
New boundaries approved by the Lawrence school board on a 5-2 vote Monday will reassign students from the two elementary schools that are closing and some students from two schools that aren’t, based on where they reside.
The Lawrence school board on Monday will consider approving new elementary boundaries for next year and hear a report on four-day weeks for students.
The district’s committee for school boundary planning on Wednesday settled on a final recommendation to the school board that keeps Deerfield students from being transferred to Woodlawn, requires some Hillcrest students to change schools and more.
Broken Arrow Elementary School’s interim principal, Amanda Green, has been selected for a position in which she will help families transitioning out of the two schools that the district is closing after the end of this year.
Following their vote to close two elementary schools, Lawrence school board members on Monday asked the district’s boundary committee to keep families from having to travel across highways to their new schools, consider allowing families to choose their new schools and more.
The Lawrence school board on Monday will consider new boundaries that assign all Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary students to new schools as well as shift nearly 100 students out of three other schools.
The Lawrence school board has voted to close Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary schools.
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”This community’s identity wasn’t formed by governing institutions; it was formed by the fight in the hearts of its people,” Topher Enneking writes in this letter to the Times.
”Equity resides in the community we’ve built for these children. And that equity was a priority because of these schools’ walls, where they feel the safety and security they deserve,” Melody Alexander writes in this column.
”(The Lawrence school board’s) vote to hold a hearing on closing Broken Arrow Elementary School is a great disappointment and a clear testament that the winds of prejudice are still blowing across the land,” a group of community members write in this letter to the Times.
“Prior to any further discussion about school closures, we call on the school board to create a procedure for best practices when considering school closures and to adopt this procedure moving forward,” Save Our Schools 497 writes in this column.
The board of directors of the Lawrence Preservation Alliance wishes to express concern about the school district’s proposed plans to close community schools, each of which has a rich history and resides in a historic building.
• Contact Lawrence school board members
• Facebook group: Save Lawrence Neighborhood Schools
• Facebook page: Lawrence Education Justice Collective
• Website: Save Our Schools
• Lawrence Public Schools Boundary Advisory Committee page (BAC)
• Lawrence Public Schools Budget and Program Evaluation Committee page (BPEC)
• Facebook group: Save Woodlawn Elementary!
• Website: Save Our School – Woodlawn Elementary