To the Editor:
I have been following the debate over the closure of Beverly Hills Elementary School with great interest. Though I am not currently a resident of that district, my oldest son attended Beverly Hills K-5th grade. I believe many of the reasons given for keeping the school open until it can be replaced with one of similar size have great merit, and I have struggled to understand what the school board has against the idea.
The superintendent, in his opening remarks to the board June 27, failed to explain how closing Beverly Hills would provide any benefit to its students, parents or their community. Instead, he attempted to minimize the hardship students will face if they are sent to Royal Oaks by saying the new school is just 2.5 miles from the existing one.
● What he didn’t say is that the 2.5 miles crosses a major interstate that completely separates the new school from the Beverly Hills community, thus violating the basics of redistricting which says a district should not cross geographic boundaries.
● He didn’t say that the bus route from Beverly Hills to Royal Oaks must follow major thoroughfares with high traffic densities, which poses safety concerns, increases travel time and transportation costs.
● He didn’t say parents from single car families who can now walk to their school for conferences and school functions will either not be able to attend or only do so at personal expense and inconvenience.
He also said that because Beverly Hills is in bad shape, he thought the Title 1 students there might like a nice new building. If he truly wants to help students he perceives to be at risk the best thing he can do is to keep them in a small school with an intact community support system, and if it is a new school he thinks they deserve, then by all means build one to replace what is there.