Port Washington school officials, police and parents will meet on Aug. 25 to discuss the recent decision to close the Cliff Way gate entrance for students.
During a school board meeting on Tuesday, Superintendent Michael Hynes said he would like to resolve the issue before the start of the school year. The meeting comes after the controversial Aug. 3 announcement, which was the center of the Aug. 9 board meeting.
“I look forward to that meeting taking place on Thursday,” said Hynes. “We will have a resolution to make sure our kids, most importantly, are safe when they join us next week.”
Hynes had said at the Aug. 9 meeting that the decision was made knowing that there may be backlash. But he said it was crucial to consider parental input and that their opinions were significant.
Parents encouraged the board to reconsider the choice during both meetings.
Many said that the Cliff Way gate entrance was a more secure, albeit an occasionally lengthier, path for their kids to reach the school’s campus. On Tuesday, many of the speakers also complimented the board for listening to parents on the matter.
“I’m optimistic that the meeting being held this Thursday that includes key decision makers will open the dialog and allow for logic and safety to be considered,” said Kim London, a parent. “And I feel hopeful that once all points are considered, it will be to create a safe way for walkers to get to school.”
Some parents said the community’s streets cannot safely accommodate the volume of local vehicles and pedestrians going to school. Others stated that the choice was a disproportionate response to the most recent school shootings and that enforcing such a policy would cause problems.
There have long been complaints about traffic congestion during school hours. To address these concerns, board members, police and other officials held a special town hall meeting in June.
The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Sep. 20 at 6:30 p.m. It will be livestreamed.