In the mid 1980s, the Los Al school board made some decisions which seemed to take into account current business and economics only and failed to take into account community history and future social cycles.

Los Alamitos : Parents Argue Against Plan to Close 3 Schools

LA Times: Orange County Digest

January 09, 1985|G. M. Bush

Almost 150 parents braved chill rains to attend a school board hearing and argue against a plan to close three schools and sell or lease several district properties.

Only a handful of the residents who turned out for the meeting at Los Alamitos High School on Monday night agreed with the board’s tentative decisions.

The board proposals that stirred the most ire were the sale of a 3.5-acre portion of the district’s Pine Street site to the U.S. Postal Service and the closing of Los Alamitos Elementary School. Parents said the move would result in unnecessary busing of students.

Jim Bell, the son of Los Alamitos’ first mayor, said that to sell the land was to “lose our heritage.”

However, two residents spoke in favor of closing Los Alamitos Elementary School, citing potential hazards from a nearby industrial zone.

Beside the Pine Street land sale and closing of Los Alamitos Elementary School, the board proposes to:

Sell the district office during the 1986-87 school year.

Continue negotiations with Seal Beach on the sale of the Zoeter School site.

Sell or lease Lee Elementary School.

Close Pine Middle School in June, 1986, and assign all district middle school students to Oak Middle School the following September.

Reopen Jefferson Elementary School in September, 1986.

Lease Los Alamitos Elementary School during school year 1986-87.

Move the district office, preschool and Laurel Continuation High School to the Pine Street site in 1986-87.

Other speakers criticized the proposal to shift all 1,100 of the district’s middle school students to one location. A middle school should be a relatively small, personal way-station between elementary and high schools, they said.

Several residents urged the board to call an advisory election on the proposals, and others suggested that a consultant from the state Department of Education be called in to help the board make its final decision.

Board member Nancy Lander did not attend the meeting.

Chairman Arthur Genet said a final decision would come on Feb. 4, not two weeks earlier as previously announced.

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