In response to the news of their school being closed, Mark Hopkins parents proposed an idea to change Rosa Parks Middle School, the school adjacent to Mark Hopkins, to a K-8 school in order to keep their children in the neighborhood.
Parents and staff got together to persuade the Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Trustees to support their idea.
Many community members expressed that the idea to close elementary schools was not the right decision and community members were not taken into consideration.
School Boardmember Diana Rodriguez, who represents the area in which Rosa Parks and Mark Hopkins are located, was very vocal about her opinions on why she did not support this model. Rodriguez did not support the school closures and feels that Mark Hopkins should have never been closed.
“Given the current options, I would compare it to being on a pirate ship and you have to walk the plank,” said Rodriguez. “You have the option to walk with a blindfold or without one. Either way you’re going over.”
Several board members expressed concern for the costs.
“We will need a kindergarten playground that is fenced in, carpeting for the designated elementary school classrooms, smaller bathrooms, and an elementary school playground in order to accommodate these younger students,” said Robert Sullivan, Principal of Rosa Parks.
However there is currently no approximate number for how much the accommodations would cost. The only known cost is $75,000 in order to relocate a portable classroom from Mark Hopkins to Rosa Parks.
School Boardmember Patrick Kennedy is in favor of the proposal.
“I’m a fan of the K-8 model,” said Kennedy. “I have children who have been through the K-8 system and it works.”
But Rodriguez thinks this is not a traditional K-8 model.
“This is not a K-8.” said Rodriguez. “A K-8 would have been like how John Still currently is designed. A K-8 would have just removed the fence that separates the school and Mark Hopkins’ principal.”
The proposal was approved, despite Rodriguez’s concerns. A transition group will be formed to discuss further issues and to create a more concrete plan for Rosa Parks between now and the start of the new school year.