Sunday, November 25, 2012

The future of AAK

Twice in the last year, the BOE has directed the superintendent to look into major changes at AAK. Early this year, Board members told Mr. Brady to examine the savings that would ensue if AAK were to be closed. Recently, the BOE told the superintendent to report to them about the feasibility of moving 7th and 8th grade to the high school.

What would occur if AAK were go be closed? The public is left wondering what kind of long-range planning is going on. Is the superintendent still preparing the report that was asked of him last March? What savings would be realized? What could be done with the building? Educationally speaking, what would be the impact on students?

A few months ago, the BOE asked for another report about the pros and cons of moving 7th and 8th to the high school. Enrollment has declined over the last two decades so there may be room at the HS to absorb 7th and 8th. How would this move benefit students? Employees? Taxpayers?

It's impossible to discuss moving 7th and 8th to the HS without also discussing what that move would mean for 5th and 6th grades. Would there be benefits to moving 5th & 6th to Lawrence Ave.? It wouldn't make fiscal sense to operate AAK just for 5th and 6th. Also, the middle school model would effectively end if 7th and 8th were not at AAK.

Fiscal constraints could, and likely will, drive any decisions about major changes at AAK.While the superintendent needs some time to prepare his report(s) to the BOE,  it would be helpful for the public to hear a detailed discussion from the Board about why its members are asking for reports that could have a very significant impact on the future of AAK.

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