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Alternatives for schools proposed

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
Bratt resident Alan Lowery has looked at the figures from every angle. Try as he might, he hasn't been able to come up with an option to counter the Escambia County (Fla.) Board of Education's plan to consolidate schools in the north end of the county.
He is resigned to the fact, based on his own research, that the school system cannot continue to operate all the schools as they are now. But he is trying to get other people in the county to see this as an opportunity to turn the tide in a favorable direction.
Six people from the community, including Lowery, met Monday, Feb. 26, with Superintendent Jim Paul and Paul Festko, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.
Past discussions by the school board have included a number of options concerning Bratt Elementary, Byrneville Elementary, Century Elementary, Ernest Ward Middle and Carver Middle. One option consolidates EWMS with Northview High School.
According to statistics, the two most expensive schools in the county to operate are Carver Middle School and Ernest Ward Middle School. And those stats bother Lowery.
He recommends that Bratt Elementary be consolidated with Ernest Ward Middle to create a seamless kindergarten through eighth grade school, rather than consolidate Ernest Ward and Northview.
The idea that it would be detrimental for the students if the elementary students were put in the same school as the middle school students doesn't fit in this case, according to Lowery.
Lowery has one child attending Bratt Elementary and one at Ernest Ward.