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Parents Fight Ridgefield Plan To Close School

Parents filled the Ridgefield Board of Education hearing room to explain how they felt about the possibility of closing one of Ridgefield's six elementary schools.
Parents filled the Ridgefield Board of Education hearing room to explain how they felt about the possibility of closing one of Ridgefield's six elementary schools. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – Ridgefield parents again challenged a plan to close a school in town, saying the potential savings — about $100 per taxpayer — are not worth it.

“I’m just shocked that we’re having a conversation about $100 per taxpayer,” said Sean Connelly, a parent of children at Scotland Elementary School, one of the schools up for consideration for closure.

“If I had to balance against my daughter’s education and saving a few bucks, I’m going with my daughter’s education,” Marc Petroccio said.

During the Board of Education meeting Monday night parents and the board heard the Facilities Committee’s findings about school closures, the results of which were not dramatically different from what was said at the public hearing last Tuesday. The top schools remained at the top and both Scotland and Farmingville Elementary Schools remained at the bottom.

"Please don’t close one of our schools," Jessica Meadow said, adding that if the board did decide to close one, that they should have all the information available to them.

The board was met with pleas from parents at each school to not close their school, or any school, citing how difficult it would be for the children to adjust.

Many parents said closing a school is wrong and that it will break the sense of community that comes from "neighborhood schools."

“The decision regarding which schools to close, all six schools should be looked at by an independent third party, not just the two,” said Karen Griffith.

Part of the next step, said board member Michael Raduazzo, is bringing the findings of the committee to the Ridgefield Boards of Selectman and Finance to reaffirm that the projected $1 million in savings is enough. The presentation most likely won’t take place until December.

Board member Amy Shinohara told the board after the public hearing that it is too early to make a decision on whether or not to close a school.

The discussion ended with the possibility of continuing the discussion and gathering information about closing a school, although no action was taken.

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