Students' Parents And Superintendent Attend Gathering
By RACHEL GOTTLIEB FRANK, Courant Staff Writer
February 14, 2008
Hartford School Superintendent Steven Adamowski met with parents at Annie Fisher Multiple Intelligences Magnet School on Wednesday evening to discuss plans for the future of the school after its renovation is complete.
Exactly what those plans are is unclear because Adamowski ordered The Courant barred from the meeting.
Adamowski has drawn considerable criticism from parents at the Fisher, Twain and Rawson elementary schools for his plans to close Fisher temporarily and Twain permanently.
Asbestos was discovered at Fisher during renovations that have been ongoing as classes continued. It was decided that the school would be closed next year to deal with the asbestos and complete the renovations.
Fisher parents were upset by the choices they were offered and by the lack of a guarantee that their children would be allowed back at the magnet school when it reopens.
Parents also complained that administrators did not consult them about a new theme for the magnet school, which now focuses on seven areas of human intelligence.
At a previous PTO meeting at the school, attended by The Courant, Assistant Superintendent James Thompson said Adamowski had decided that two separate schools would occupy the renovated building: a Montessori school and one focused on science, technology, engineering and math.
Twain is set to close because of low enrollment. Twain and Fisher students were given the option of attending nearby Rawson, among other choices.
Glenn Mauldin, president of the Rawson PTO, said Rawson parents were concerned that the transfer of students from Fisher and Twain to Rawson would overwhelm the school and result in large class sizes.
Milly Arciniegas, president of the PTO Presidents Council, and Mauldin both said Wednesday's meeting was planned as a joint meeting for the three schools. Wednesday afternoon, Mauldin said that district administrators sought to limit the meeting just to Fisher parents but that Rawson and Twain parents still planned to attend.
Officials said Adamowski had wanted to meet alone with the Fisher parents, but Arciniegas said parents from all three schools attended.
"It's a public meeting," Mauldin said, arguing that The Courant should have been permitted into the meeting. "There are some issues the whole neighborhood should know about. You've got Fisher, Rawson and Mark Twain — it's affecting the whole community."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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