Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Thomas Jefferson Elementary students reported to their last first day at the school Tuesday. Amid excitement for the beginning of classes there was an expected level of sadness due to the recent decision to close the school for the 2013-14 school year.
“It’s very hard,” Kerri Brown, who was picking up her third-grade daughter at the school said. “It’s a strong community, and it’s kind of bittersweet.”
Brown said she’s most concerned about her daughter having to change schools again, when the larger redistricting plan takes effect.
“I wish they would do it all at once,” Brown said. “And eliminate the possibility that they have have to move one or two more times after this.”
Although Brown said her daughter will attend Franklin Elementary, the Ken-Ton school she is assigned to for the next school year, she said she knows many parents are looking to send their children out of the district as a result of the closing.
Other parents had just moved their families to the area and were disappointed their children would get a fresh start just to change schools again in a year — but most have lived in the area for a long time.
“It’s sad to see it go in such a strong community,” Carolyn Haug said.
Haug, who has a first-grader at Jefferson, said she’s glad the other schools in the district will provide a quality education for her son.
“I’m very happy with the selection of schools here,” she said. “But it is just not as close. Busing may be an issue.”
The first day was emotional for parents, students and teachers alike, and many were concerned the closing would affect their kids both this year and next year.
“I understand that the district needs to cut down,” mom Jill McGloin said. “But I hope this year won’t be all like today, and that it is upbeat and positive for the kids.”