Town Meeting

Lakeview Elementary vote

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Mountain View voters give board time to consider Lakeview’s future

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

The four member towns that make up the Mountain View Elementary School District, voted against a non-binding measure that would have instructed the Mountain View board to close Lakeview Elementary School.

Residents of Hardwick, Woodbury, Greensboro, and Stannard went to the polls yesterday to give their opinion on the question.  According to unofficial results provided by Superintendent David Baker of the Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union, there were 458 votes in favor of closing the school and 556 against.

Mountain View comprises three schools, or campuses as district officials prefer to call them, Lakeview, in Greensboro, Hardwick Elementary School, and Woodbury Elementary School.

Lakeview, which before Act 46-mandated consolidation was an elementary school union formed by Greensboro and Stannard, has in recent years lost many students.  Early last year the Mountain View board met to consider options for the school.

While school officials said closing the school was not under consideration, Greensboro and Stannard residents worried that it might have to shut its doors.  In meetings called by the board to discuss the future of the school, many people rose to express their desire to keep Lakeview going.

The Mountain View board decided to keep the school open for the 2023-2024 school year and put together a subcommittee to come up for a plan for Lakeview’s future.  The subcommittee met through the summer of 2023, but in October said they lacked enough information to make a firm recommendation.

Three possibilities were mentioned in the subcommittee’s final statement.  Keeping the school open and working to improve it, operating a pre-school program for four-year-olds in the building, or using the building to house a pre-junior-high program for sixth-graders.

Mountain View board members decided to develop a budget that would keep Lakeview Elementary School going through the 2024-2025 school year and to use that time to more fully consider options for the school.

In January a group of voters, almost all from Hardwick and Woodbury, petitioned the board to close Lakeview at the end of the current year.  At a public meeting the board went into executive session to get advice from its lawyer.  It returned to tell those present that they had been told that under state law the decision was the board’s to make and voters did not have the authority to force it to act in a particular way.

Nevertheless, the board said it would seek the opinion of voters although without committing itself to act on the results of a vote.

In the end, voters decided to let the board continue its deliberative process without asking for a particular outcome.  In addition, the budget containing money to keep Lakeview operating through the 2024-2025 school year was passed by a margin of 608 to 556, Mr. Baker said.

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