About 30 people attended a listening session Wednesday to discuss where to house the fourth and fifth graders within the attendance boundaries of Green Meadow Elementary School.
The Oshkosh school board closed Green Meadow, a fourth- and fifth-grade-only school, in 2009 and relocated its students to Perry Tipler. Currently, students in kindergarten through third grade attend Lakeside, while students in fourth and fifth grade attend Perry Tipler. The students then attend South Park Middle School.
The move was intended as a temporary fix while creating a permanent solution through a district-wide strategic plan.
“There is not universal opinion for what is the best outcome,” said Superintendent Stan Mack II. “We respect that, in any event, our final resolution of handling the situation is one that will have to contemplate and try to weigh the options.”
Administrators discussed potential scenarios that involved sending students to Lakeside for kindergarten through third grade, then to either South Park or Perry Tipler for grades four through eight, in contrast to the current situation. Mack said the board is not interested in closing Lakeside at this time.
Several parents and staff members who spoke said that in a perfect world, they would want Lakeside to serve kindergarten through fifth grade. Several people also expressed concerns with making drastic changes in the immediate future when attendance boundaries are likely to change for the entire district in several years — but others said the current situation isn’t working.
“We don’t want to make a quick move now to have to make another move in a couple years,” said April Davis, who spoke both as a parent and as a second-grade teacher at Lakeside. “We don’t think the status quo is what’s the best of the best; we think we’re making the best out of a bad situation.”
Stephanie Carlin, a Lakeside/Green Meadow parent, said she doesn’t think the status quo is what’s best for the children or for the community. Carlin advocated the creation of a committee similar to the team that guided the design of the new Oaklawn school. Liz Lynch, the Oaklawn parent who led the charge for the new school, also spoke in favor of a similar process.
“The more bright minds we have in the same room at the same time, we might come up with the best available solution,” Mack said.