Parents challenge possible school changes

Increased class size tops parental concerns


School district administrators came back to the public this week with a more detailed proposal for reconfiguring Long Beach’s elementary schools. But parents remain resistant to many of the proposed changes, and opposed talk of closing East School.

According to Schools Superintendent David Weiss, the district commissioned a facilities study group last year to explore possible ways to modify the placement of students throughout the district, in order to address issues like declining enrollment and finding a place to house school administrators after the administrative building at the Lido Complex was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. The group’s goal was to find the most effective use of the district’s eight buildings.

The group’s presentation to the Board of Education last month included a variety of options to consider, including closing a school or shifting grades around between buildings. Weiss stressed that the committee was not making a proposal to the board, but rather simply offering options.

The district’s second presentation at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting whittled the potential options changes down from 11 to five. While parents criticized last month’s presentation for not including enough information, such as cost savings, the latest presentation addressed issues like potential class sizes.

But many parents expressed their concerns over the negative implications of closing and repurposing East School and the anticipated class-size increases. One group of East School parents even came with their own counter-presentation.

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