Lasley Elementary hosts final Emory community meeting

Andrew Fraieli
afraieli@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/24/22

About 60 people gathered at Lasley Elementary in Lakewood Oct. 18 to ask questions and speak their minds at the final community meeting regarding possible elementary school closures.

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Lasley Elementary hosts final Emory community meeting

Posted

About 60 people gathered at Lasley Elementary in Lakewood Oct. 18 to ask questions and speak their minds at the final community meeting regarding possible elementary school closures.

Lasley Elementary is slated to absorb nearby Emory elementary as part of a consolidation plan presented to the Jefferson County Board of Education by the Public School district, of which the final vote is on Nov. 10. The community meetings were a chance to raise concerns.

One large concern was whether Emory’s dual-language program would also move to Lasley, which Lisa Mahannah, Emory’s principal, affirmed it would be, while acknowledging it was harder than just saying, “you’re a dual language school now.”

Another concern, reflected in the first Emory community meeting and commented on by the Board of Education in a previous meeting of theirs, is that a decision has already been made by the conversation being with the assumption of consolidation rather than discussing how to make it work as it is.

“No decision has been made,” said Donetrus Hill, the community superintendent for both Emory and Lasley. “This is the parent information community feedback session. You’re all here, asking questions — key people from the District are here recording your questions. This feedback is making its way back to the powers that be so that they can make an informed decision.”

There will also be one-hour public hearings in front of the Board of Education on Oct. 24 through 27, and on Nov. 2 and 3. Sign-up to speak will open five days prior to the date of the hearing, and speakers will be heard in order of sign-up. According to Lisa Relou, chief of communications and strategy for Jefferson County Public Schools, the first seven spots will be reserved for current staff and family affected by the possible closures, and they estimate enough time for 15 speakers with three minutes to speak each.

Asked again as in the previous Emory community meeting was why not consolidate Lasley into Emory, a larger building that could hold more students.

Tara Peña, Chief of Family, School, and Community Partnerships at Jeffco Public Schools, said that, besides the main criteria of utilization used for all the possibly closing schools, Lasley is an elementary school — Emory is a middle school. This is in terms of size and design, she said, pointing at something as small as the toilet sizes being more appropriate for elementary children.

“I want to apologize, on behalf of the District, that this is another disruption to this articulation area,” Peña said. “Our hope is that by bringing two communities together, we will be able to provide all of your hopes — and then some.”

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