Eau Claire School Board Says "Close Little Red"

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The Eau Claire School Board says it will close Little Red at the end of this school year.

Monday, the board heard and approved four recommendations from the Little Red Committee.
The big one is to shut down Little Red at the end of the school year and move those students to Putnum Heights Elementary School.

"I don't want to hear for the sixth, seventh or eighth time that a board member doesn't want to close a school because the translation of that is I don't want to plan," Maria Henley of Eau Claire told the board Monday night.

The board heard from four people Monday night. They all say Little Red should not be closed. That's in addition to the dozens who spoke up at a public hearing earlier this month.

However, the board said keeping the school open doesn't financially make sense. But, members of the board did stress the importance of planning for the future.

“This should be about the big picture. It should be a global look at the district. But, you do that before you close another school, before you move Montessori," said Eau Claire School Board Member Trish Cummins, the only board member to vote against the recommendations.

"I'm confident this will be the catalyst to begin that long range planning in terms of how we most efficiently use our buildings, but also how we incorporate community values that reflect the quality education that we have here in Eau Claire," said Board Member and Little Red Committee Head Carol Craig.

Here's what the board approved:

--Closing Little Red
--Appointing a full-time committee to make annual recommendations about things like boundary and school capacity issues
--That the board come up with a plan, by this May, to move the Montessori program out of its current building. The Little Red Committee told the board that goes hand in hand with the closing of Little Red and all schools with just one class for each grade.
--To keep the nature trails and area around Little Red open for schools and the community to use

Trish Cummins was the only board member to vote against the recommendations Monday. The board will vote one more time before those recommendations are final.

To read the full recommendations, click on the web link below.

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