Bennett PTA petitions Onteora board to close an elementary school

The Daily Freeman reports that the PTA of Bennett Elementary School, one of three in the Onteora district, is circulating petitions calling on the school board to reject the only reconfiguration plan on the table that would allow Phoenicia Elementary to remain open.

While many in Phoenicia -- parents and community members alike -- worry that closing the school would be devastating to the town, Onteora parents in general are divided on the issue, the Freeman reports:

Some were excited about the academic potential of the grade-clustering approach, known as The Princeton Plan; others were concerned about transportation issues associated with the plans, including putting fourth-graders on the same buses as secondary students; and others said closing a neighborhood school would hurt its community.

Some speakers at the meeting criticized the Bennett PTA for circulating the petition, saying the move is divisive and pits one school against another.

A recent letter on our website from former Phoenicia parent Robert Burke Warren, arguing in favor of a grade-clustering plan that would keep all three schools open, has been generating some good commentary from readers on the pros and cons.