After nearly a year and a half of study, the Franklin School Committee voted at its February 9, 2021 meeting to close the Davis Thayer Elementary School beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. This has been a very emotional decision as this involves the retirement of a beloved second home to so many families, students, and faculty and staff both during current times as well as historically. The school was built in 1924 and has served so many generations of Franklin students. The decision was made based on reduced enrollment, educational adequacy of an aging building, and financial efficiency. Notably, there has been a significant enrollment decline. This is not a result of students leaving Franklin for other choices. The decrease in enrollment is a trend that is happening in many regions, especially in the Northeast/Massachusetts.
The main focus at this time is to plan and implement a transition for Davis Thayer students to the Keller Elementary School, being sure to attend to their social-emotional and academic needs. The Facilities Analysis Subcommittee recommended that the School Committee begin to examine space utilization across all of the district's schools as the architect's report highlighted some needs, particularly at our "stand-alone" schools (Kennedy and Parmenter) as well as some potential opportunities which include redistricting.
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