Deer Valley considering closing one of five elementary schools

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Cindy Beiber is a proud parent whose son attends Desert Winds Elementary in the Deer Valley Unified School District.

"Desert Winds is an amazing school," she said. "They have amazing teachers, staff is amazing. I know I used that word a lot but it's true."

But she and other Desert Winds parents are concerned that their children's success could be short-lived if the district moves forward with a plan to repurpose the school.

"It doesn't make any sense to relocate all of these children that are excelling," Beiber said. "It's just going to throw a big wrench into their education."

"We have about 88 to 105 special education students with disabilities and they are placed in private schools," said Heidi Vega, spokeswoman for the school district.

She said a day school for special needs students is desperately needed. It will save money by keeping kids from having to transfer to pricier private schools for special support programs. It will also streamline their education by keeping them in one building all day.

But what building will it be? The district sid Bellair, Desert Winds, Greenbrier, Mountain Shadows and Sunrise elementary schools are all up for consideration because of their lower enrollment and other logistics. It will be up to the school board to choose which school will be chosen.

"At this point, nothing has been done because the board has only been provided with the information," Vega said.

The board will consider this at a meeting Tuesday night, and Beiber and other parents will be attending to be sure their opinions are heard.

"This isn't anything against the special needs students. They deserve the best education that they can get as well. I just don't think it needs to go this way," Beiber said.

If the board votes to move forward with this idea, it's possible they could choose the school to close by the end of next month.