Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Guerrero Elementary spared - others remain in the balance

The major headline from last night's community meeting is that Guerrero Elementary will not be closing afterall. However, Frost, Alma, Powell, and Hendrix (all west Mesa schools), are still facing closure to be converted into other types of educational facilities.

It looks as if Frost and Hendrix will likely be part of the International Baccalaureate program. As discussed before, Alma Elementary looks to be converted into a Franklin School. This leaves only Powell Junior High facing a major change in its purpose. The new plan for Powell is to offer community programs, credit-recovery programs, community healthcare and even community college programs. No word yet which school local junior high students would be transferred to.

As we have mentioned before, the district will face the challenge of the "local school" mentality. Redrawing boundaries may leave some students miles away from their closest school that offers the programs that they want. This will work for the students with parents that can drive them to school, but what about the students that have walked or taken the bus in the past? MPS just saved millions with their revised bus routes and schedules, but no word on how the school restrutcturing would change these costs.

In the end, however, it is important to remember that MPS appears to be doing everything they can to remain competitive in offering quality education in the face of a $60 million financial shortfall. These changes have the potential to create long term education improvements for our students and make them even more competitive in the workplace. However, these changes are not without their price, and some parents are going to be resistent to change.

Everyone should remember that they have a voice in this process and they can make comments at www2.mpsaz.org/future.

1 comment:

Thoughts On Mesa said...

Turning a school from a neighborhood school into a Franklin school doesn't make it a back to basic school.

My kids go to Franklin East,there is a new Principal Dawn Carpenter, she comes from the neighborhood school set up and things are going downhill fast.

Teachers that have been there and taught under the Franklin guidelines are now the outsiders and are considered the trouble makers for wanting to stick by the ideals the school was started on.

The majority of the parents aren't involved anymore, and the school is starting to cater to the lowest common factor.

Now I'm faced with having to determine if this is the best place for my youngest child to continue. If the trend continues I will probably move her.