Parents relieved after Kilby announcement

Kilby Laboratory School Teacher Mary Summy instructs her fourth grade class in her classroom.

Kilby PTO President Carole Maynard shed tears Tuesday morning when she learned that UNA President Bill Cale came forth with a plan to keep the laboratory school open.

“I told some UNA administrators, at the end of this process I need to look at my children in the eyes and say, ‘number one, that I fought as hard as I could for a school that we love, and number two, that I did it with dignity as a PTO,’” Maynard said.

Maynard said she is relieved that she will not have to make alternative plans for the fall and that her children will continue to get a Kilby education.

“Kilby is a family, all the teachers know all the students and vice versa, and to be able to tell my third grader that all is well, and my little boy that is about to start kindergarten that he will be in Ms. Frederick’s class, that is priceless,” Maynard said.

Cale announced today to faculty and staff via email and during the UNA Faculty Senate meeting that officials are working on a plan that will allow Kilby School to continue operations in the future.

“The message for now is that the Kilby School and child development center will continue to function as always,” Cale said.

The plan Cale expects to implement will allow kindergarten through sixth grade to remain at Kilby as well as the child development center.

 “The plan will stabilize the UNA subsidy to those operations at a level below the past five years while preserving core functions,” Cale said in the email. “Dean Donna Jacobs and (Kilby) Principal Mary Maschal will present to me a detailed plan of implementation in the next few days.

“The plan affirms the value of Kilby to the UNA mission but also recognizes the financial realities we face as an institution.”

Cale informed the UNA Faculty Senate today that the university administration was in the final steps of preparing that plan.

Jacobs and Maschal will meet toward the end of the week to prepare the final plan, said John Thornell, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Cale said he feels good about the plan and is working on final details with his administration.

Parents are relieved at the news of the plan, said Kilby School Parent Michelle Eubanks.

“We are extremely pleased that we have an opportunity to maintain and grow the educational tradition that is a part of the Kilby foundations,” Eubanks said. “We are so pleased that the university administration sees the value that Kilby has.”

Eubanks said she is happy to tell her children that it pays off when you stand up for what you believe in.

Stay with The Flor-Ala as this story develops.