Anger and sadness dominated the room after the North Colonie School District Board of education voted unanimously Thursday, Feb. 17, to close Maplewood Elementary School following a presentation from Superintendent Joseph Corr and comment from the school's community.
It was a decision that had been researched and discussed since November as district budget forums had already been under way, but it was one that did not sit well with many of the parents in attendance. Once all of the board members raised their hands in support of closure, some parents stood up and walked out of the Media Center in Shaker High School, one of them grumbling loudly, What a waste of time.
Darlene Robideau, said that she would have agreed with the board's decision if she felt that every avenue to save money had been explored, such as looking at other schools to close, but she doesn't believe that happened.
"This is the wrong thing to do," she said. "It hasn't been fully studied and they made an inadequate decision."
Another Maplewood parent warned the board of a possible divide between the parents in the Maplewood community and the rest of the district.
"I'd like to commend the general community on the general civility that I have seen over the course of the last several forums," said Robert Drozd. "This could have devolved into a mean-spirited debate, and I haven't seen that happen yet. I can see the continued division between North Colonie and Maplewood, and see that division continuing in the future as a result of this decision."
Drozd said he would support the decision of closure if he knew that after extensive research and analysis, it was found to be the best result. But this wasn't the case as, he said, noting that Maplewood was the only school looked at.