EDITORíS DESK: The logic in losing a school

       It all makes such perfect sense. Administrators' logic usually does at first take, couched as it is in numbers instead of names, bottom lines instead of the unruly lines one might find in a small child's notebook, and prim statements of acceptable miles for students to live from their neighborhood school... without having to walk them.
       And so we look at the plan to close Pike Elementary. And yes, on the surface, the plan seems airtight. The school's too small, it's not cost-efficient to keep it open. And what a brilliant idea to bring the Bijou School - its building on Walnut Street neglected all these years - into the mix, moving it into the Pike facility. That way the district can avoid, permanently, paying for those repairs (even though they were fully funded in the 2004-05 voter-approved bond issue).
       Oh-oh, is my skepticism starting to show?
       I just want to make it clear that I really do believe the District 11 staff came up with a solid plan. The Board of Education members could vote for it and point to numerous facts and figures that show they did the right thing.
       And yet...
       I remember a day last May when I was at Pike for a very special occasion. It was the day the third-grade students learned they had reached a CSAP reading proficiency percentage few classes ever attain - one especially unheard of for schools like Pike whose enrollment is mostly Title 1 kids. But there they were, these third-graders with big grins, posing under the big poster that said "100."
       I wrote some lines that day. I won't bore you by repeating them here, but they had to with that accomplishment being the result of great diligence by Principal Manuel Ramsey and his staff and the belief that they were laying the groundwork for more special days in the future.
       The blow to the neighborhood from losing its school? Maybe another day. Right now, although it's illogical, I'm thinking about those kids... and whether that could have happened anywhere else.

- K.J.