Ross: Mission Hill K-8 should stay

City Councilor Mike Ross said last week that his annual City Council vote on the Boston Public School budget would turn into an automatic “no” if BPS moves forward with plans to move the Mission Hill K-8 school to Jamaica Plain.

At a Nov. 5 meeting community meeting at the Tobin School on Smith St., he told BPS officials that moving the school would “drive a stake through the heart of this community…Starting right away with your budget vote, you would have one less vote,” he said.

Speaking to the Gazette, Ross said the move would “mean fewer local options for Mission Hill parents at a time when neighbors are fighting to maintain Mission Hill’s residential character.”

Ross has filed a City Council hearing order to discuss that and other school changes proposed in the recently released Boston Public Schools “2012 Facilities Plan.” That hearing is scheduled to take place Nov. 14, at 4:30 p.m., one day before the plan comes up for a vote by the School Committee.

District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley, who represents a small part of the Hill, said he does not have a postion on Mission Hill K-8’s move. But, “I’m working with Mike Ross to have a stronger community process,” he said, “There are so many questions…and issues in play.”

Ross said his main concern about the move is that it will leave few elementary school seats in his City Council District 8, which includes Mission Hill, the Fenway, Back Bay and Beacon Hill.

The loss of Mission Hill K-8—currently at 67 Alleghany St.—will mean that the Tobin K-8 School on Smith Street is the last K-8 school in the district, he noted. Last year, Mission Hill also lost the Farragut Elementary School at 10 Fenwood Road.

Ross said he supports “80 to 90 percent” of BPS’s recently announced “2012 Facilities Plan” overall, including plans for New Mission High School—which currently shares the Alleghany Street building with Mission Hill K-8—to move to Hyde Park.

The plan calls for 10 schools to be expanded or created.

“The plan is very good, it expands opportunities for Boston students,” Ross said, “But it targets the Mission Hill community, and it need not do so.”

John Ruch contributed to this article.

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