SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Can Freeport Elementary be saved?

Highlights from the second community-engagement meeting held by SCUSD regarding school consolidation and/or closure.

The Big Questions:
1. Will Freeport be closed?
2. Can the community save it?

The Less than Clear Answers:
1. The Board will decide in March.
2. Money support needs to be ongoing.

The Overall Community Response:
Passionate requests for more information and opportunities with no involuntary closures.

District comments:
It is a given that there will be changes, it is not yet a given that schools need to close.
We think some schools do not have enough students for a grade level, that some schools are underutilized.
No school, including Freeport is a target for closing.
We are proud of all of our schools and consider the parents to be the first teachers of the child.
We want to hear the needs of neighborhoods and commit to more local meetings if necessary.

Community comments
Freeport is a safe school, Harkness teachers work hard.
Our schools have not been given the resources to deal with the challenges of poverty.
Turnover is high in staff perhaps due to 5 layoffs in 6 years with another one coming.
One class had three substitutes in one year.
Home schooling also needs to be considered as decreasing enrollment.
Open enrollment needs to be evaluated to see if it is taking away students from our area.
Respect the value our schools add to our neighborhood.
Give us the time to save our schools.
We need to be together in a fight to save public education.

Community budget comments:
Close Serna Center and move staff to neighborhood schools.
Do not hire consultants.
Lay off more of the central office support before closing schools.
Sell non-school district real estate.
South area has the most small schools but it will grow, closing now makes no sense.
Decrease the cost of administration at the local schools.

Community needs:
15 to 1 ratio in classrooms
Parents and students walking to school
Peer-to-peer mentoring
English language instruction
Child care
Other language instruction for students.
Adult education, including other languages
Athletic programs
Health Care Clinic
Sport Physicals
Mental Health Clinic

Special thanks to Leo Bennett-Cauchon

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Written by scusdobserver

January 18, 2009 at 6:51 pm

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