Important information: “The potential closing of Silver Street School.”

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This evening at NAC, the emphasis shifts back to what may be the consummate neighborhood issue: Children and their schools.

I’m the first to admit that education issues often elude me, for the simple reason that I have no children. That’s no excuse, but there it is. One thing I understand is that when it comes to revitalizing an inner city, a sustainable future comes from many sources, but children and their education is first and foremost in the minds of families who choose to live there.

“Families form a loyalty to the city” … “It is primarily a school phenomenon.

I have many good friends in the NA-FC school corporation, and many other good friends in the neighborhood that feeds the Silver Street Elementary School, and the latter group currently feels that an unsavory surprise is about to be sprung on them by the former with respect to the school’s immediate future.

From this perspective, it doesn’t seem that there has been much communication between the school administration and the neighborhood leaders … and this is regrettable. NAC has been sent notes from a Resources and Results Committee meeting in April; these apparently have not been published at the school corporation’s website, but they can be read here:

Resources and Results Meeting Notes – April 22, 2008

Also, please read the announcement of an organizational meeting planned for Thursday, May 22. I’m told that reporters for both the Tribune and Courier-Journal will be running stories later this week.

Friends~

Please feel free to forward this to everyone you think needs to be in-the-know about the potential closing of Silver Street School. This is a very serious issue and not to be taken lightly – the meetings have been happening behind closed doors and we weren’t invited!

I am planning a meeting to brain storm together and come-up with a plan(s) of action. The meeting will be:

Thursday, May 22nd at 6:30 PM at Advent Christian Church (in the basement) – 2129 Shelby Street (Enter from the Indiana Avenue side.)
Yesterday, I talked with someone who was one of the key players in working to keep the school open back in the ‘90’s. I’m going to be meeting with her soon to talk more. Until then, there are a couple of things she told me that are imperative:

First is to hit the pavement and be sure and let every home owner in the area know that the school’s closure could bring property values down. Not everyone will think the school’s closure is their concern. Their property value, however, is. Start spreading the word.

Secondly, and she really stressed this, we must have school representation at every school board meeting. She says that they will give various issues names like “164-27” and then vote on them. Without going to every meeting, we have no way of knowing what these issues are. I know everyone’s schedule is packed, especially at this time of year. But I really need a few committed folks to attend with me! Please let me know if I can count you in. We can carpool to save gas!

Here are the dates/times of the next few meetings:

Monday, May 12, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008

All meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted). All Board of School Trustees Meetings will be held in the Board Room of the School Administrative Services Center, 2801 Grant Line Road, New Albany, IN.

Finally, I’m working to revive my neighborhood association (Glenwood Place) which spans south from Spring Street just past Market (to Willow) and east from Silver to Beharrell. I’m already working closely with Silver Grove and I need to get in contact with the person in charge of Uptown. We need to join together to strengthen our voice!

If you would like to be on the email-list for the Silver Grove newsletter, please contact Jim Munford at munfish(at)aye.net. You don’t have to live in the Silver Grove neighborhood to be included on their mailing list and all of their emails are sent anonymously, so no one sees your email address. The newsletters are full of great information: Silver Street School news, upcoming local events, local history, and even crime sprees in the area.

Thanks so much. I look forward to hearing from you.

~Kathy Ayres (812) 989-8204 – moondansyr(at)insightbb.com

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