I live in Andover. Like many small towns, we have our share of battles, but our biggest battle and one we have been fighting for the past 20 years, is keeping our little school open.
Currently, there are 31 students at Andover Elementary School, three teachers teaching multi-classrooms and a principal who is also the fourth- and fifth-grade teacher.
Why keep it open? Many reasons.
The most important one is that the students here, with a classroom size of 10, get one-on-one attention. They excel in academics and their learning needs are met. I know this has benefited the students because of their test scores.
Additionally, some high school students would be on a bus for more than an hour and a half, one way. One of the main factors is, what new family would move to a town with the school being so far away? The community would not bring in any new families with young children and would eventually die.
That federal money was promised and then not given; schools like ours are in a bind. How do we come up with the funds to keep schools open? How do we make it about education and the students and not about money and cutting costs?
These little schools in small towns are going to go extinct if people don’t take a stand.
Heather O’Leary, Andover