New Albany parents address school board in fight to save schools - News, Weather & Sports

New Albany parents address school board in fight to save schools

Dennis Brooks, New Albany-Floyd County Schools Superintendent Dennis Brooks, New Albany-Floyd County Schools Superintendent
Silver Street Elementary Silver Street Elementary
Pine View Elementary Pine View Elementary

By Caton Bredar - bio  | email

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Dozens of New Albany, Indiana parents rallied together at the school board meeting Monday evening, expressing support for two local schools that may be facing closure. WAVE 3's Caton Bredar was at the school board meeting.

For more than two years, the Resources for Results Committee have been trying to determine the fate of schools like Pine View and Silver Street Elementary. A spokesperson for the school board says any final decisions are several months away, but concerned parents did not want to risk waiting to make their voices heard. Nearly 100 local residents showed up at the meeting to voice their support for the two schools, even though the topic was not even on the school board's agenda.

Shelly McGaren, a mother of three and former Pine View student herself, was one of several parents to address the Board.

"We want to see all the schools stay open. It's about these kids," she said.

Jeremy Finn, a parent of Silver Street students, echoed her sentiments as he spoke from the podium during the open forum period of the meeting, at the start of the session.

"I feel a sense of pride when I drive down Silver Street and I see the blue marquee and the sign that says exemplary school in the state of IN for two years in a row," said Finn.

McGaren added, "We just want to make a quiet presence. We're here. We appreciate Pine View and what Pine View has done for our kids."

Superintendent Dennis Brooks thanked parents for attending but otherwise remained relatively silent on the subject, deferring to the committee to first come up with options before addressing whether or not the options are viable. According to a spokesperson for the school board, those options may ultimately not even include closing either school. Still, parents weren't taking any chances. The campaign to save Silver Street, in fact, has already spread through the local neighborhood, with street signs on several neighborhood lawns. That's something Finn takes pride in.

"There's hardly a yard without a yard sign expressing support for Silver Street Elementary," he told the school board.

This isn't the first time Silver Street has been a focal point. The school first drew attention when President George Bush visited, to herald the success of his No Child Left Behind program. Silver Street now needs more than a million dollars in improvements, to bring the school up to standards. Regardless of the price for either project, parents like McGaren say it's a price worth paying.

"The teachers, the education." McGaren explains. "It's a small school, it's a small town. Gosh, I don't even know how to explain. You know, you walk in, you feel safe."

It's a feeling McGaren wants to provide for her children, pointing to 5-year-old April. She is her youngest child and is set to attend Pine View in the fall.

"She'll have five years we have to worry about, and we want those 5 years at Pine View. Yes, we do."

"Remember, the kids are the future of New Albany and the world."

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