The following were among actions taken by the Alexandria School Board at its June 3 meeting. For further information, call 988-2100.
BARRETT TO STAY OPEN -- Without taking a formal vote, the School Board decided to keep open Charles Barrett Elementary School, which faces a dramatic enrollment decline in September due to housing renovations in the low-income Arlandria area.
School officials said at the meeting that Barrett's enrollment may drop from the current 274 students to 97 because of apartment renovations on four nearby streets that will displace several low-income families. The school is located at 1115 Martha Custis Dr.
"It isn't perfect, but I think at least it's the least disruptive," Superintendent Robert W. Peebles said of the decision to keep the school open. "It's too late in the year to adjust boundaries. What would cause problems is a kind of panic reaction and for parents to get worried about an empty school."
Parents of students who attend Barrett said at the meeting that they were pleased with the board's decision.
"It worries us that the whole thing could be shuffled," Barrett PTA President Jeanne Snapp said of the possibility of the school closing.
In recent months white parents at Barrett have lobbied the School Board to turn the school into a magnet program offering a traditional, back-to-basics approach to teaching students, or an intense foreign language study program, to attract enough students to keep the school open.
A majority of the board has rejected the magnet school idea, with some members arguing that such a program would compete with the Cora Kelly Magnet School, an elementary school at 3600 Commonwealth Ave., which has had trouble attracting white students.
Board members also said they did not favor a boundary change for Barrett because it is likely that some of the minority students who were recently transferred from Cora Kelly to three other elementary schools, including Barrett, to make room for more white students would be moved a second time.
"We don't want to make them pawns," said board member Eugene C. Lange. "Children need a degree of stability."