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Public: No Hasty Decisions on ‘Fantasy Island’ School

 

By Leslie Truluck

STONE HARBOR — Although the school board heard many differing opinions on what is best concerning a potential merger of Stone Harbor and Avalon elementary schools, one thing the public agrees on is that nothing should be done in haste.
The board requested public input, suggestions, questions and ideas after a joint meeting of both towns’ schools boards in early October during which a consolidation study commissioned by both boards was presented.
A public hearing was held to welcome input during Stone Harbor Board of Education’s meeting Nov. 11.
About 75 attendees packed the gymnasium and a majority of attendees offered input.
Planning Board Chairman William Burns said Nov. 9 the board passed a resolution backing the Master Plan, which states that the school is extremely valuable to the community.
Burns said a petition in opposition of a merger or consolidation was signed by 90 percent of the student population’s parents.
“Consolidation doesn’t solve the long-term issue of enrollment,” Burns said.
He said the borough needs a more productive and sustainable approach to declining enrollment.
Burns suggested the borough’s public relations firm, Parker & Partners, launch an advertising campaign to gain more tuition students from other communities.
Mayor Suzanne Walters spoke in agreement with the public relations campaign idea.
Avalon Board of Education welcomes community input at its meeting Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

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