About a dozen parents social distanced in the Clack Middle School cafeteria Tuesday evening, interested in learning about the fate of Reagan Elementary.
Abilene Independent School District administrators are recommending the southwest Abilene facility be closed at the end of the school year, so those in attendance were curious what that means to their children.
Much of Tuesday’s questions focused on either special education or transportation.
In particular, Superintendent David Young was asked about possibly allowing students, especially those who are on the autism spectrum, to tour their next school before the end of the year.
Samantha Jenkins, right, talks about the implications of Reagan Elementary closing at the end of the school year with the school’s principal, Leslye Roberts, and Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Daniel Dukes during a public information meeting in Clack Middle School’s cafeteria Tuesday. (Photo: Timothy Chipp/Reporter-News)
In asking the question, Reagan parent A. J. Weeks said children on the spectrum may have difficulty adjusting to a new school.
Young said construction at Dyess Elementary, which would receive a significant number of Reagan’s students should the closing plan be approved by the district’s school board, makes that request difficult, but the other three schools affected — Austin, Bassetti and Lee elementary schools — would be possible.
After questions were asked and answered, Weeks said the session was productive.
“I understand this took a lot of hard decisions to come to this point,” Weeks said. “I feel we were heard and we were given options to provide further feedback.”
Young and associate superintendents Scott McLean and Daniel Dukes provided feedback from the district, answering other questions from the small crowd.
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They reiterated transportation is provided to students who live outside of a two-mile walking distance radius from their school, as well as to students who must cross a busy street to reach a school.
Dukes said, additionally, that transportation needs can be written into a special education student’s individualized education plan if the student is not able to handle large crowds at bus stops, for instance.
Tuesday’s presentation from McLean was identical to one given to trustees last week during a Thursday workshop.
The presentation will be available two more times:
► 6 p.m. Tuesday
► 6 p.m. Sept. 24.
Both will be in the Clack Middle School cafeteria, 1610 Corsicana Ave. The information also is available on the district’s website, www.abileneisd.org.
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