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HomeLarchmontShould Mamaroneck Schools "Open Doors" to Health Care?

Should Mamaroneck Schools “Open Doors” to Health Care?

mamaroneck ave school
Mamaroneck Ave. School


For many in Larchmont and Mamaroneck, it began with a flyer in their mailbox:

“It is important to know what is going on in our School District,” it reads. “We ask that you attend and think about any concerns or questions that you may have.”

Thus began the most recent chapter in the debate over whether to allow a proposed Open Door Health Clinic to operate at Mamaroneck Ave. Elementary School.  Open Door provides health and human services to low income residents. Children attending schools in the District where the clinics are housed may receive health care at no cost, if they are enrolled.

Port Chester, with a high percentage of low income residents, has an Open Door Clinic in its school system.

But part of the flyer had some thinking about the real concerns of those opposed:

“Is it fair to compare our School District with neighboring school systems that have School-Based Health Clinics (SBHC) when it is more factually and demographically accurate to compare our district with similar school districts located in (bold face as written on flyer) Scarsdale, Harrison, Chappaqua and Bedford.”

While this week’s presentation by the SBHC Task Force to the School Board shows the District may benefit from more health care for low-income pupils, opponents say they fear their children might be exposed to sick kids, increased security issues, with more people inside the school building, and “the integrity of the Mamaroneck School District.”

School Board member Ann LoBue tells theLoop, “Our next step is to set aside time at an upcoming public meeting to discuss and understand what’s involved in doing a more formal needs assessment.  We haven’t set a date for this yet. “

What do you think?

photo: Robert Flood 






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January 22, 2015 9:43 PM

I am in agreement with both of you . Have to wonder what the real agenda is here . Makes no sense to pay for a needs assessment when it could be out of date . What about the same population in other elementary schools in the district -Central ? This clinic is only for MAS students. I guess the District only sees fit to serve the students at MAS and too bad for the other children in the same situation in other elementary schools ? I guess they are not concerned about their absences or education .This has all the makings of our next civil rights complaint .

Martha Smith
Martha Smith
January 22, 2015 2:00 PM

Please excuse typos…they weren’t there when I typed it originally!

Martha Smith
Martha Smith
January 22, 2015 1:21 PM

As a parent of an MAS student, I an vehemently pposed to a health clinic in our elementary school. It’s education, not medication!
Much of the research available online is inconclusive about whether or not a clinic decreases absences. The numbers about students being sick with asthma, headaches, stomachaches, are not always a reflection on the parents! Some kids have chronic issues (or perhaps it is the mold from all the flooding at the school) and how dare the government and school board tell us that better education will keep our kids in school longer. What silly nonsense. All they care about is the fact that keeping a child in school for a few hours longer, means increased money by the state of NY! And now that is a fact!
The concerns of much of the community who are opposed to this idea are VALID and we are alarmed that the school board would continue with this, even though the taxpaying portion of our community doesn’t want a SBHC and due to the fact that the committee came back with an overwhelming “let’s wait and let the community clinic open as there may not be a need”. I say the taxpaying community because if they do this, many low-income, non taxpaying people will want to move here for all the free perks. And then what? Our taxpayer money goes toward building more classrooms, hiring more teachers and so on…just because we gave away some space to a clinic and now had to deal with the huge influx of new students.
One board member said it beautifully when he spoke about why he joined the school board. He said he joined the board to deal with education, etc, not to deal with giving a certain sector of community healthcare now. He went on to say “what’s next, free dinners, clothing, a place to live!”. And he is right. We have free lunch programs, breakfast, scholarships for activities and clubs. How much are we going to enable people. You cannot hand people everything on a silver platter. You must work for it. America was built on people coming from other countries and they asked for nothing and received nothing, and they worked hard and made a life for themselves! They worked hard to get where they are! A 10 minute bus ride to ODC in Port Chester is NOT far, Dr Maloney in Mamaroneck is NOT far and soon with a clinic here, they can go at school lunch hours, after school, in the evening. What is the school boards agenda in pushing and pushing for this in our school when there will be one right down the street. Now let’s stop giving and giving!
And security issues…and the germ issues, and the property values plummeting because people don’t want to move to our area, and the reputation of our community. The board needs to take caution of the Pandora’s box (as one woman said at one of the meetings) they are about to open. And although they love the power trip of saying “we decide, there is no vote”, they must remember that we do have voice and that this is OUR village and OUR neighborhood. I think the Larchmont parents will join the fight when one opens at the middle or high school. Then, they can no longer say “not our problem”.

Board watcher
Board watcher
January 22, 2015 12:28 PM

I watched the board meeting on Tuesday, and I found it notable that all of the parent members of the task force, including the Padres Unidos rep, recommended that the board delay further action until a proposed Open Door community clinic opens in Mamaroneck.

Not sure why some members of the Board are so eager to waste the money on a consultant-performed needs assessment done before a community health center opens. Won’t that needs assessment be out-of-date the minute an Open Door community health clinic opens?

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