Apache Junction to close 2 schools

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   APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. (AP) -- The governing board for the Apache
Junction Unified School District has voted unanimously to close
Thunder Mountain Middle School and Gold Canyon Elementary School
after this school year.
   The board also voted Tuesday to reconfigure the grades at its
remaining schools. The four remaining elementary schools will go
from kindergarten through fifth grade to kindergarten through sixth
grade. The remaining middle school will convert to a junior high
school for seventh- and eighth-graders.
   The district is facing tough economic times as well as declining
enrollment. It lost about 5 percent of its students from the
2008-09 school year to the current school year. The closings will
affect about two-thirds of Thunder Mountain's current enrollment of
630 students because the eighth-graders are moving to the high
school next year. Gold Canyon currently has 333 students. The
district will redraw boundaries for all elementary and middle
   Information from: East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune,