Sunnyside parents ask how closures will affect their students - Tucson News Now

Sunnyside parents ask how closures will affect their students

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Parents and students in the Sunnyside Unified School District have questions about what school closures will mean for them and why they should stay in the district.  Both the superintendent and the board president began answering their questions Monday night at Chaparral Middle School, which will close for a year or two.

"We'll compete with anybody.  We offer a full range of services that help our wonderful community and we're going to continue to do that," said Sunnyside superintendent Manuel Isquierdo.

More than 70 people, such as parents, students, and administrators, filled the library at Chaparral Middle School Monday night as they asked what to expect as the school closes.  Isquierdo told them that closing the school for a year or two will speed up the expansion to a K-8 fine arts magnet school, which was approved by voters in a bond election.  But voters did not renew the budget override, which will mean less money for operations such as salaries.

Closing the school will save an estimated $1 million out of $5 million needed.  But Isquierdo repeated several times that teachers will move with the students to other schools, so that class sizes will not increase.

"I want to make sure that he's not going to fall into the cracks of the transition of going to a different school, because it does hurt the kids," Bobbie Gomez said about her son who attends Chaparral Middle School.

"They were able to put my mind a little bit at ease, as them moving the teachers around and saying the classes are not going to be more than 30 students.  So, we'll see what happens when the transition happens.  If the classes do become more, if I see that they are more than 30 students, I will raise concern to the district," said Chaparral parent Jason Caro.

Meetings with Los Ranchitos Elementary School parents will be on Wednesday at 6 p.m.  That school will close permanently to become a wellness center for the district.

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