At the end of my 7th grade year they closed my junior high school. The building was at about half capacity, and the District argued that the move would improve finances and, thereby, improve education. I remember being near to tears when I heard the news. I loved my school. The idea of having to go to the rival junior high seemed about the worst fate the world could bestow on a young kid. I resented it. I railed against it. I would have rallied in protest if anyone had organized a march.
And then — everything turned out just fine. The open school quite effectively absorbed the closed one. Sure, there was a period of "turf" battles between the natives and the newcomers, but it was remarkable how quickly that faded. Before long (weeks?) the first inter-rival relationship developed, and, from that point forward, the flirtations spread like fire. One kiss launched a lovefest. Consolidation indeed!
"Kids are resilient," Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson said the other day. We sure were.
I'm not qualified to make the argument about whether or not closing five Seattle Elementary Schools makes sense or not financially. But, as someone who has been through it, I can tell you that there is life after closure.