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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | SCHOOLS / EDUCATION
NEWS: FULLERTON

Beechwood Won't Be Fundamental School

October 17, 1998|CHRISTINE CASTRO and DEBRA CANO

Fullerton School District trustees unanimously approved plans this week to reopen Beechwood School as a neighborhood campus.

The district had sent surveys to parents asking whether the school should be reopened as a back-to-basics fundamental school or as a neighborhood campus. The survey was also posted on the Internet and on local cable TV.

The 5,277 responses showed an overwhelming preference for a neighborhood school. There are about 12,000 students in the district.

"This community as a whole is saying we don't have enough people to fill a fundamental school," Trustee Hilda Sugarman said.

Beechwood is scheduled to open in September 1999 for at least 300 students.

Although Trustee Kim Ann Guth voted in favor of a neighborhood school, she said she has always been a proponent of fundamental schools, which emphasize reading, writing and math.

District staff will prepare a timeline on boundary changes for the next board meeting, Supt. Ron Cooper said. The trustees also voted 4 to 1 in favor of a joint use agreement with the city that outlines the development of Beechwood's playing fields.

Under the agreement, sports groups will have space for a Little League field, but the district reserves the right to move the field if the school's enrollment increases.

Sugarman, who cast the only dissenting vote, made a motion to table the item to give the Little Leaguers time to find a more permanent location.

But Harry Brown, president of Golden Hill Little League, said teams need a place to play.

"If we don't have that field," he said, "I don't know what I'll do with the kids."

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