East Lyme won’t relocate high school program to elementary school

East Lyme — Moving the Coastal Connections high school program to a separate section of Niantic Center School is no longer under consideration.

School district administrators had considered presenting to the Board of Education next week a proposal that would move the program, which offers about 25 high school students an alternative curriculum featuring two days of classroom instruction and three days of internship experience, to a second-floor section of Niantic Center School. The district held information sessions on the proposal Monday for teachers and parents.

Superintendent James Lombardo had said the proposal would save at least $12,000 in rental costs for the district, which faces a $650,000 cut to its proposed education budget.

In addition, Coastal Connection also was looking for a new facility because the special education program for 18-to-21-year-olds, now housed in the same Flanders Road building as Coastal Connections, will need additional space next year as more students plan to enter that program.

In a letter Wednesday, Lombardo informed the school's community members that the proposal Coastal Connections move is no longer included on his list of cost reductions for the district.

"While I still believe that we could safely locate the high school program in a separate area of the Niantic Center facility, I am withdrawing my proposal to do so at this time," Lombardo wrote. "We will seek other means to support our high school special education and Coastal Connections programs."

He added that the school board will work with the community over the next several months regarding solutions for the "significant facilities needs of our aging elementary schools."

k.drelich@theday.com

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