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Criteria for school closure proposed

School Boundaries & Closure Committee recommends shuttering the school site with fewest students and staff, among other factors.

May 25, 2011|By Michael Miller, michael.miller@latimes.com

Members of a Fountain Valley School District committee proposed more than a dozen criteria Tuesday evening for choosing one of the district's schools to recommend closing.

The School Boundaries & Closure Committee, which consists of parents, staff and community members, said the district could shut down the site with the fewest students and staff impacted, avoid closing schools with unique programs and weigh other factors such as parent involvement and maintenance costs.

The committee will create a master list of criteria at its next meeting June 7, said Stephen McMahon, the district's assistant superintendent for business. Afterward, he said, the committee will use that list to rank all elementary schools in the district.

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McMahon praised the committee for its recommendations Tuesday.

"I'm real pleased with all the ideas they came up with," he said. "I thought they were very well thought out."

The district formed the committee to look into the possibility of closing a school, which officials say could save about $400,000 annually.

The district has seven elementary schools, three middle schools and one campus that covers kindergarten through eighth grade, although McMahon has said that if a campus closes, it will almost certainly be an elementary school.

If the committee identifies a school, it will make a recommendation to the board of trustees. The school would close after the 2011-12 school year.

Tuesday, the committee members split into groups to brainstorm criteria. Belinda Burroughs, an instructional services technician who works in the district office, said she had no firm ideas yet.

"I think, as a group, we're taking this very seriously," she said. "We don't have any preconceived notions. We haven't made up our minds."

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