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Board recommends shutting Mesa school, keeping another open

by 3TV and azfamily.com Staff

azfamily.com

Posted on December 1, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 2 at 4:26 PM

UPDATE-- Wednesday, Dec. 2:

MESA -- A Mesa school board planning on closing two neighborhood schools has decided to recommend only shutting down one.

Concerned students and parents packed Powell Junior High School Tuesday night for the public meeting on the issues.

The board had recommended Powell and Guerrero Elementary School be closed and turned into community centers next year.

It's also considering re-locating some learning programs and transferring ninth-graders from junior high schools to high schools.

Within 30 minutes of the meeting, the board decided not to recommend that Guerrero be converted.

Another public meeting is scheduled next Tuesday night at the governing board room in Mesa.

ORIGINAL REPORT:

MESA -- Plans to close one Mesa school and turn it into a community center have many parents and students quite upset.

According to district officials, closing Powell Junior High is just one idea to deal with budget cuts.

Students and parents aren't happy with the proposal. They say going to another school will not give them the same opportunities they have at Powell.

School officials say the move could be beneficial for the entire community.

"It would serve the neighborhood," said Kathy Bareiss of Mesa Public Schools. "It would be home to our community education department, which offers adult education services and also services for students."

About 600 students would be affected by the closure of Powell. Those students would be assigned to the junior high closest to them. They would also have the option of open enrollment.

Administrators are hosting a meeting to discuss the issue Tuesday at 7 p.m. It was originally slated to take place at Westwood High School, but has since been moved to Powell Junior High. A second public hearing will be held on Dec. 8 at the Curriculum Services Center.

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