School Chairman's Call for Building Options Was Long Overdue

Friday, April 19, 2013

When School Committee Chairman Jonathan Pope called out both Counselor-at-Large Bruce Tobey and the Times (See “School plan critics should show alternatives,” the Times, Tuesday, April 16, Gloucester Times), he actually reached out in a manner that the entire School Committee should have long before now.

For in asking for alternatives to city and school officials’ push for their current plan to build a new West Parish School — and not do anything to address any consolidation or restructuring of other schools to truly adapt for the district’s future needs and its still-shrinking enrollment — he may well draw viable alternatives that deserve to be openly aired, and perhaps be included on a potential non-binding November referendum that Tobey is seeking.

But while we can offer some alternatives, Pope and other city and school officials should recognize one option that should not be on the table in charting the district’s future. That’s simply maintaining the status quo alignment of five elementary buildings to feed into the increasingly successful O’Maley Innovation Middle School and Gloucester High.

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