Dr. Martin Luther King School Jr. School to Stay Open for School Year 2016-17: Special Provisions in Place

Dr. Martin Luther King School Jr. School to Stay Open for School Year 2016-17: Special Provisions in Place

Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez has announced that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School will remain open for one more year with specific provisions in place to ensure the safety of students and staff.
She noted, “My singular focus is and always will be on our students and ensuring an environment where our children can learn and thrive. I share the frustration of the MLK community and, as I have noted, seek to respond to the decades-long delay in renovations to the school through the development of a long-term facilities plan as part of Equity 2020 which will complete its work in late Fall 2016. In order to reduce disruption during the coming year as the long-term plan is developed, I have decided to keep MLK open with specific conditions in place to ensure the safety of students and staff.”
The MLK families have expressed a desire to remain together as a single school community while a long-term plan is developed.  In order to provide that opportunity for the 2016-2017 school year, several conditions will be in place, including:
•    There will be three security guards in the building. This is a necessary operational and budgetary requirement to ensure the safety and security of students, staff and visitors in this large facility.
•    A comprehensive facility and grounds assessment will be conducted by June 20, 2016 to review additional safety and security measures, including walling off areas of the building not in use, alarming additional doors, posting signs on all exit doors and other needs.
•    Comprehensive training of all staff on security protocols before the start of the next school year.
As noted, the Martin Luther King school building is nearly 100 years old and has been in disrepair for far too long. Of concern is the outdated boiler system, which could fail at any time.
It is important to recognize that if the boiler fails or other facility-related issues should occur, there may be need for an emergency relocation of students during the school year. Our facilities staff will continue to monitor facilities and operations throughout the year as part of our commitment to our students’ and staff’s safety.
“It is disappointing that due to fiscal crises, the renovation of MLK could not unfold as planned. I understand the City of Hartford had some difficult choices to make, but my hope is that reasonable long-term solutions can be found through Equity 2020 and through investment by the City and State,” said Dr. Narvaez.
An Equity 2020 Advisory Committee, composed of parents, teachers, principals and community leaders, has formed and will engage the community at large to help the district develop a long-term plan that connects facilities, geography, academic alignment and school choice to maximize resources and opportunities for our students.  “It is my hope that through Equity 2020 we will ensure that our MLK children – and all of our children – are educated in a safe, healthy and supportive learning environment,” said Dr. Narvaez.

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