Not that there is really a pretty side to school closures and consolidations, but the ugly side is highlighted in a KUOW interview on their website today:
School Closure Jockeying
When a school is slated for closure, like in other high-stress situations, the people involved show both the worst and the best of themselves. During the first round I was involved with, the Graham Hill community really came together, forging relationships among parents in the regular and Montessori program and addressing existing racial tensions. The school was better and stronger once the closure effort was over.
In the case of Arbor Heights, based on what I hear in the KUOW interview, I think the desire to protect their school from closure at all costs brought out the worst in some of the PTSA Board language and actions.
But when the district and School Board make it absolutely clear to all schools targeted for closure that they should develop and present alternative proposals if they want to keep their schools open, that encourages school communities to name other schools for closure. It's happening all over the district. The closure process design and the messaging from the district and Board encourage it.
And schools with PTSA groups that are highly organized and savvy about communication and working with the Board and the media have an advantage in the process.