The Randolph School Committee voted Thursday night to close the schools on April 1, the date of the town election. A second-grader was seriously injured when an elderly driver lost control of his SUV while on the way to vote in the Feb. 5 presidential primary.
Randolph’s schools will be closed on April 1, the day of the annual town election, the school committee decided Thursday night.
School Superintendent Richard Silverman recommended the action after an 8-year-old student was seriously injured outside the Lyons Elementary School during the presidential primary election earlier this month.
The student was struck by a sport utility vehicle being driven by an elderly voter.
“We take safety very seriously,” Silverman said.
The superintendent said he is also talking with Town Clerk Brian Howard about the possibility of moving some or all polling places out of school buildings. In addition to the Lyons School, the Donovan Elementary School and Randolph High School are voting locations.
“We don’t want to be put in the position of closing school two or three times a year for elections,” Silverman said.
The schools will hold a teacher training day on Nov. 4, the date of the presidential election. No classes will be held that day, when a high voter turnout is expected.
This year’s town election is expected to draw a bigger-than-usual number of voters to the polls, with three Proposition 2½ override questions and a heavily contested selectman race.
William Geisler, 86, of 2 Lavally Road was attempting to park his 2001 Ford Escape SUV on the circle drive in front of the Lyons school before going in to vote on Feb. 5. He lost control of the vehicle, which veered sharply to the left and went over a grass area, narrowly missing a flagpole. The SUV then went across another section of driveway, jumped curb and went onto the sidewalk before hitting Britney Noel, a grade 2 student at the school, and knocking her into the front wall of the building.
Britney suffered a fractured skull and a broken leg and is undergoing rehabilitation for her injuries.
Police are seeking a charge of operating to endanger against Geisler after an investigation found no mechanical problems with the vehicle.
The incident took place a few minutes before classes were to start of the day. It sparked a debate over testing older drivers as well as housing polls in schools while classes are in session.
Thursday night’s vote means that the last day of classes for Randolph students will be June 20, barring any additional closings for weather or other reasons, Silverman said.
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