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The Board of Education voted unanimously not to close Newtown Middle School at its Tuesday, December 6 meeting, which was held in the Newtown High School cafetorium to accommodate the couple hundred people who attended.
The board charged a Future Forecast Committee in February to research school facilities in light of projected declining enrollment, to provide the school board with possible next steps for school facilities usage, and with making a final recommendation and analysis of costs and savings associated. A number of board and committee meetings have included or focused on the topic since.
In July, the committee presented nine options for closing either NMS or an elementary school to the board. The report also offered a look at not closing any school in the district and the potential use for space. The school board later decided not to close an elementary school, and the committee presented its report on October 19 detailing “Option I,” which would have reconfigured the district to have kindergarten through fourth grade in the elementary schools, fifth through seventh grade at Reed Intermediate School, and eighth
to twelfth grade at NHS.
The public participation portion of Tuesday’s meeting lasted roughly two hours and all but one person voiced opposition or concerns associated with closing NMS and reconfiguring the district.
After deliberation on the topic the school board voted, and all seven members voted against closing NMS.
More information on the meeting will be in the December 9, 2016, print edition of The Newtown Bee.