Lynwood Elementary School was spared the ax. It will not be closed next year thanks to the school’s immersion Spanish-English program.
A citizen committee tasked with picking a school in Novato to close voted 7-4 last week to spare Lynwood. That brings it down to Lu Sutton or Rancho elementary schools.
Meg Cadiz, Steve Hospodar, Betsy Borberg, Jennifer Lynn Delucchi Alejandra Argueta, Ali Iqbal, and Ron Gerber voted to take Lynwood off the closure list. Voting against the move were Sreekala Balasubramanian, Sylvia Barry, Mary LaPlace and Almas Siddiqui.
The community meeting took the better part of four hours with some parents questioning the whole process. The Novato Unified School District initiated the process due to declining enrollment.
Parents from all three targeted schools pleaded for their schools to remain open. But Lynwood had the backing of Marin’s bilingual community, which took the form of an online petition and a website advocating for the school to stay open.
Omar Carrera, CEO of Canal Alliance in San Rafael, said he was “happy to see that bilingual education has a home in Novato and in Marin.”
Lynwood parent Claudia Gonzales White said “We look forward to working with the district in finding homes for the students who are displaced and welcoming new families with open arms.”
The three schools were picked for potential closure after reviewing the operating expenses and costs per student at all eight NUSD elementary schools.
Lynwood, Rancho and Lu Sutton are smaller schools with higher costs per student. Lynwood had the highest cost per student of all because of its lower enrollment.
It is planned that the citizen panel make a recommendation to the district’s board of trustees for action at its May 25 meeting. Closure could happen during the 2022-23 school year.
The NUSD volunteer panel is expected to forward its recommendation to the district’s board of trustees for action at its May 25 meeting. Any closure plans would not take effect until the 2022-23 school year.