Studies overwhelming document that small elementary schools work socially, economically and educationally for the student and the community with benefits far into the future. Larrabee Elementary educates and cares for roughly 200 young souls, 46 percent of whom live in poverty.
The small-school environment of Larrabee allows for the kind of learning cohort necessary to educate students struggling to learn and grow as people. At Larrabee, families, teachers, community members and students work as a team to make the school work for everyone, every day. Superintendent Baker's crusade to close Larrabee appears misguided as no one is arguing that the closure is in the best interest of the kids or the community.
Even if I conceded that economic concerns should outweigh educational ones, Baker has yet to demonstrate to me any meaningful financial basis for his conceptual proposal. In fact, at the same time Baker is campaigning for the closure, he is lobbying for a new tax levy in the form of a school bond to fund a brand new southside mega-school and a new $10 million district administrative office/conference room.
We don't need a mega-school or a new fancy meeting room for the suits. What we need is to support the small-school system we currently have, because it works, while providing teachers and the community the tools they ask for.