2 Sunnyside school closures send students to 5 different schools - Tucson News Now

2 Sunnyside school closures send students to 5 different schools

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Hundreds of Tucson parents will be learning where their children will go to school next fall.

As had been expected, the Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board has voted to close Los Ranchitos Elementary School and Chaparral Middle School on the south side.

The district says that's to deal with budget cuts caused when voters turned down a budget override.

The Sunnyside District says it's trying to make the transition as smooth as possible for people affected by the closings.

The district says the plan is to keep the elementary school students together as much as possible.

The youngest Los Ranchitos students will be going to one school while their older classmates will be right next door at what is now Sierra Middle School.

Sierra will become a second grade through eighth grade school.

Sierra butts right up against Sunnyside High School.

All three schools are in a square block area.

"So the kids are going to be able to come here to Ocotillo for K and first grade. And that's how we were able to save this early learning center. And then from here they're going to go down the street, second through eighth grade, to Sierra Middle School. And then nine through 12, they'll be over here at Sunnyside High," says Sunnyside Governing Board President Eva Carrillo Dong.

Chaparral Middle School students will be divided among three different schools.

They are Sierra, Apollo and Challenger Schools.

The plan is to use up to $10 million dollars in bond money to convert Chaparral into a kindergarten through eighth grade fine arts school by 2015.

The district says it hopes to turn the Los Ranchitos site into a one-stop family resource center with services ranging from literacy to health and wellness.

The district says, where there are job openings, it's giving priority to employees from the closed schools.

Many teachers are expected to follow their students to their new schools.

"We have said that every teacher of record will be placed because we're not losing the students. We're still having all of the students and so we want to make sure that we don't have a situation where we have really large class sizes," Dong says.

The district says it will update its website and will have meetings with parents and staff to be sure everyone knows where they will be next fall.

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