Idea to Close Lawton School Goes to School Board

Lawton, Ok. – Lawton Public School's Will Rogers Elementary School has 134 students and is one of the smallest of the districts's 29 elementary facilities. And in his letter to parents of the students this week, Superintendent Barry Beauchamp said the decision to recommend its closing at the end of the 2002-2003 school year was not an easy one. He wrote that "the state's curent budget shortgall and its profound fiscal impact" on the district forces careful consideration of operations of each school.
Located at 1608 S.W. 9th Street, its first part consisting of four rooms was completed in 1946 with six more classrooms plus the auditorium added four years later. In 1974, a metal gym was added to Will Rogers which houses students in kindergarten through sixth grade as well as some classes for handicapped students and employs nine teachers.
Beauchamp says the plans are for most kindergarten through fifth grade students to attend Lincoln Elementary School for the next school year, with the handicapped classes remaining in tact at a different location yet to be determined. Teachers and other staff are to be reassigned to other district schools, including Lincoln, next year.
His recommendation on the closing is to be considered during the next regular school board meeting Thursday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m. at Shoemaker Center to be televised on Lawton Cablevision Channel 5.