The Sacramento City Unified School District recently announced the possible closure of eleven schools, two of them being Meadowview schools, Susan B. Anthony Elementary School and Mark Hopkins Elementary School.
According to SCUSD’s District “Right-sizing” Overview, Process,and Recommendations “SCUSD operates 56 schools that serve elementary students. By comparison, Elk Grove Unified, which has substantially more students, has 39 schools that serve elementary students. San Juan Unified, with a similar number of students, operates 43.”
“These neighborhoods that the schools are in are older,” says Tracy Richards, a Sacramento resident. “Many residents living here no longer have school age children, so the elementary schools suffer.”
In 2009, the Meadowview community lost Freeport Elementary School due to low enrollment. The impact was not too great because the other elementary schools were able to take in those displaced students and transportation wasn’t a big issue. There were still schools within walking distance.
For some students at Hopkins, they could walk to nearby John Sloat Elementary School or John Bidwell Elementary School. Hopkins students could also go to Edward Kemble, Cesar Chavez or John Still, but these schools most likely would take on the students from Susan B. Anthony.
If only Susan B. Anthony closes, some of those students could go to Hopkins as well to help with low enrollment there.
Also, the Hmong Immersion Program could continue and Edward Kemble and Cesar Chavez, along with the Spanish Immersion Program currently at both schools.
Both schools are dealing with the possibilities of closure.
“My teachers, parents, and students were disappointed to hear the news.” says Susan B. Anthony Principal Lee Yang. “The parents rallied together to form committees to craft their message and to make sure their voices will be heard by those who have the authority to keep their children’s school open.”
Parents, students and staff at both schools are trying to have hope and keep their school open.
“I love all my students and staff,” says Lee. “I feel empowered to see them coming together stronger than ever and work together on putting the word out about this school closure process.”
“Parents and teachers have their concerns regarding the upcoming closure.” says Mark Hopkins Principal Tiffany Smith-Simmons.“The students have tried to come up with solutions on how to save their school.”
The biggest issue with many parents is getting their children to a different school safely.
“It will affect families who do not have transportation and those whose work schedules conflict with school start times.” says Lee.
“If Mark Hopkins closes, I don’t know how my children will get to school unless there is a bus or something” says Liz Espinosa, a parent of a Mark Hopkins student and who has other children starting school soon. “I really hope they stay open.”
The Board will vote on which schools will close during the February 21st school board meeting.