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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 07 January 2009

More public meetings are scheduled for input on Seattle Schools Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson's school closure proposal, which includes shuttering the respected African American Academy, and moving Van Asselt Elementary into thebuilding instead.
Primary-grade African American Academy students would be absorbed into Van Asselt, with middle-schoolers from the Academy reassigned elsewhere.
Public testimony will be limited to three minutes per speaker. To sign up to give testimony, call 206-252-0042 or e-mail hearing@seattleschools.org.
Schools officials say they are moving ahead with significant closures in order to strengthen programs and save money in the face of a $25 million budget gap.
In addition to the African American Academy, facilities on the chopping block include Genesee Hill, Mann, TT Minor, and more. 
Goodloe-Johnson announced a preliminary recommendation on Nov. 25, and on Dec. 15 and 16, public hearings were held at buildings proposed for closure.
It has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lowell Elementary, 1058 E. Mercer St. Individuals who were on the public testimony list for the original hearing of Dec. 18 have first priority to testify. Others may sign up to testify on a space-available basis.
In addition, a final public hearing, at which testimony is welcome on any of the buildings being proposed for closure, is scheduled for Jan. 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the John Stanford Center, 2445 Third Ave. S.

Future key dates in the building closure timeline include:

January 6                  Final Recommendation released.

January 7 *                     Recommended Motion introduced at School Board meeting

January 20                      Public hearing – Lowell Elementary

January 21 *                   School Board meeting

January 22                      Final public hearing

John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence

January 29                Board vote on recommendation

* Regularly scheduled School Board meetings are televised on SPS TV Channel 26.

For more details, visit www.seattleschools.org and select "Capacity Management."
Feedback related to capacity management and building closure is welcome. Comments may be emailed to capacity@seattleschools.org, to schoolboard@seattleschools.org or mailed to School Board, PO Box 34165, MS 11-010, Seattle, WA, 98124-1165. The School Board office phone number is 206-252-0040.

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