Monarch Academy is one of the schools slated for closure at the end of this school year. The community is rallying to save it. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun video)
As the author of a children’s novel about a school closing, I receive letters from kids around the country who are bereft when their schools are shuttered.
I agree with Nikkia Rowe, who recommends in a recent article in The Sun a moratorium on closures until their impact is studied, (“As Baltimore prepares to close more schools, many worry about the communities they anchor,” Dec. 28). Board of education members and administrators encourage family and community involvement as an important factor in a child’s school success. However, that home-school connection is often cut short when higher-ups are considering closing a school.
More attention must be paid to the emotional well-being of the students affected. The children who write to me express grief and a profound sense of loss when their school is shut down. If a school must close, give children support through counseling and the arts. For example, when Philadelphia closed 31 schools in 2012, students engaged in a visual art project about the schools they were losing.
A school is more than a building. It is a hub of the community and home to important relationships in children’s lives.
Laura Shovan, Ellicott CIty
The writer is author of the book The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary.