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Fall River School Committee tables decision on closure of Tansey School after parents, students and teachers speak out



Fall River School Committee, Tansey

The Fall River School Committee tabled an agenda item at last night’s meeting that would have potentially converted the Tansey Elementary School to a Pre-K program, relocating over 300 students to other schools.

Over 200 parents, current and former students and educators attended the meeting at Durfee High School, many to speak in support of keeping Tansey open as an elementary school. Over 40 people addressed the school committee and chairman Mayor Paul Coogan, most speaking with passion, personal experience and even tears in an effort to sway the committee to not close the neighborhood school.

Former student, 11-year-old Aleah Pavao, shared her experience as a former Tansey student and asked that the committee not close the school. At the end of her speech, Pavao stated “I hope my speech means something.”

Fall River student Aleah Pavao after speaking to the Fall River School Committee in support of keeping Tansey Elementary open.

Public input, which lasted a little over an hour and a half, dominated the meeting. Residents who could not attend the meeting submitted their feedback and comments which were read out loud by the committee.

Fall River Resident and former candidate for office Jordan James Silvia spoke at the meeting, saying he was proud to be from Fall River when he sees the public come together and show up to speak up. Silvia was removed by Fall River Police officers later in the meeting after speaking out of turn while committee member Shelli Perreira addressed the crowd.

Fall River Resident Jordan James Silvia speaks to the the school committee Monday night.

One of the primary concerns from both parents, educators and even members of the committee was that there was no partnership with parents over the potential closure of the school.

At a subcommittee meeting last week, members discussed the need to expand the city Pre-K program and using the Tansey location to meet that need. School Committee member Sara Rodrigues mentioned that in a previous subcommittee meeting, five alternative potential locations for the Pre-K program were discussed, none of which included Tansey.

Talks about the dire need to expand the citywide Pre-K program have been going on for years. Current Fall River City Councilor and former mayoral candidate Cliff Ponte Jr had expressed his own ideas about how to meet the needs of students several years ago. We reached out to Ponte after last night’s meeting:

“During my mayoral campaign, I am confident that I initiated the local dialogue regarding the necessity of offering free Pre-K education for our students in Fall River. I maintain a strong belief that this initiative transcends mere police and stands as a moral obligation. Investing in early childhood education is paramount for the long-term success of our children.

As I emphasized then and reiterate now, it’s imperative that we prioritize our children’s education to establish a brighter future for our community.

I am optimistic that my fellow members of the school committee will conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis to ensure the realization of this goal. Rushing into decisions that could potentially displace students and families from Tansey without adequate consideration would be imprudent. We must proceed with careful deliberation to uphold the best interests of all involved.”

For parents, students and educators, last night was a win as the agenda item was tabled and a commitment was made by the committee to reevaluate the matter.

Primary correspondent for the Greater Fall River area, Jess focuses on human interest stories and investigations into political corruption. She is a former fill-in host and digital contributor at The Howie Carr Show, former host of The Jessica Machado Show and SouthCoast Tonight on WBSM in New Bedford, former blogger at The Herald News and a former fill-in host at WSAR in Fall River.



  1. HuntersCrackPipe

    March 12, 2024 at 6:59 pm

    Pizza Boi is a superhero for the school children of Fall River!!!

  2. 2 Cream 2 Sugar

    March 13, 2024 at 11:17 am

    Jordache has no children in the schools but is always willing to make a fool of himself.

    One of the most ghetto pathetic nights of Fall River politics was watching Jordache and his group of losers battle with Jess and her “squad”.

    • ZeroFaucetWater

      March 14, 2024 at 4:17 pm

      And 3000 milligrams of fluoride per cup. Your pineal gland if officially calcified thus your complete surrender to stupidity.

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