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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Lawrence community members rallied one more time Monday afternoon before the Lawrence school board’s big votes on whether to close Pinckney and Broken Arrow elementary schools.
After hearing from dozens of community members on Saturday, Lawrence school board members will decide Monday whether or not to close one or two elementary schools after the end of this school year.
Members of the Pinckney Elementary School community frequently teared up on Saturday afternoon as they told Lawrence school board members why the small school is so special.
A school is more than just a building, said parents, students and other community members Saturday at a public hearing on the possible closure of Broken Arrow Elementary. Instead, they said, it’s part of a community.
Local activist group Save Our Schools 497 has tentative plans to livestream Saturday’s public hearings on possible closures of Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary schools.
The Lawrence school district has released a map showing how elementary boundaries could change if the school board chooses to move forward with closing two elementary schools after public hearings, which are set for Saturday.
As two Lawrence elementary schools potentially face closures, the school district’s Boundary Advisory Committee on Wednesday evening decided on a proposal for new boundaries, though it’s still unclear what they’ll look like.
Public hearings on the potential closures of Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary schools will be held in person only, but the district will provide free, on-site child care for school-age children.
A proposal for new school boundaries will set the foundation for which schools elementary students may be assigned to next year, including possible changes for students whose schools are not facing possible closures.
The Lawrence school district announced Monday morning it will hold public hearings at the end of March on the possible closures of Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary schools.
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On Wednesday, a group of community members walked from Liberty Memorial Central Middle School to Woodlawn Elementary School to better understand possible implications of proposed school closure scenarios.
If the board of education decides to close any school, the district should abandon its […]
“If our schools are shuttered, the institutional mourning will be profound, but as a Lawrencian I’m optimistic we will not witness that outcome. Where the district sees opportunity in this budget crisis, I see opportunity as well,” Rebecca Zarazan Dunn writes in this column.
• 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