WESTBROOK — There will be no mention of Prides Corner Elementary School in the school budget that Superintendent Marc Gousse recommends to the Westbrook School Committee for next year.

Gousse told about 80 people at a community forum Thursday evening that he couldn’t “with good conscience” advise the committee to keep the school open.

The closure of Prides Corner is part of larger proposal to reconfigure the city’s elementary grades and address a $2.2 million shortfall in the budget.

Now, two elementary schools serve kindergarten through second grade, while two serve third through fifth grades. Under the reconfiguration, there would be three K-4 schools and fifth-graders would attend Westbrook Middle School, which now serves sixth through eighth grades.

Parents at the forum in the cafeteria at Westbrook Middle School said they were worried about their children riding the bus with students who are significantly older. Others expressed concern about an increase in class sizes.

Abby Milewski, a fourth-grader at Congin School, wondered about attending Westbrook Middle School, where there’s no playground for kids her age.

“What will a normal recess look like? Would it just be hanging out at your lockers?” she asked.

Becky Lewis said that while the reconfiguration is meant to reduce the number of times children change schools, her daughter might have to move three times in three years because of the changes.

Still, Lewis supports the concept. “I think the plan makes sense,” she said.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

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