Parents weigh in on proposed elementary school closures in Waterford

WATERFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) - Dozens of parents packed a school auditorium in Waterford to hear more details about a plan that calls for closing schools.

The district says it's dealing with a major drop in enrollment and has too many buildings and not enough students to fill classrooms.

The superintendent says the district has lost about 1,000 students in the past four years.

Under the district's facilities utilization plan, four elementary schools would close: Sandburg, Burt, Waterford Village and Adams.

Students from those schools would be transferred to one of the eight remaining elementary schools in the district.

Parents had many questions for the district's superintendent at Thursday night's meeting.

Some wanted to know how transferring students into remaining elementary schools would affect class sizes. Others asked why an outside firm wasn't brought in to assess the situation. One parent also asked what would be done with the vacant buildings and property once the schools are closed.

"It's always difficult to look at closing schools," said the district's superintendent, John Silveri. "It impacts neighborhoods; it impacts families; it makes people sad. They make connections with their schools," Silveri said. "But it's also something that's become a financial necessity."

Silveri said the closures would save the district $3 million.

The district plans to hold several community meetings over the next few weeks to get feedback from parents. All meetings begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at the following elementary school locations:

  • Waterford Village: Monday, February 3
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  • Adams: Wednesday, February 5
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  • Knudsen: Monday, February 10
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  • Schoolcraft: Tuesday, February 11
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  • Beaumont: Wednesday, February 12
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  • Cooley: Monday, February 17
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  • Haviland: Monday, February 24
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  • Riverside: Monday, March 3
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  • Donelson Hills: Tuesday, March 4
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