Parents react with joy to vote keeping Thornydale Elementary open

Parents react with joy to vote keeping Thornydale Elementary open
(Source: KOLD News 13)

MARANA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Parents at Thornydale Elementary School are celebrating some good news: the school will be staying open.

On Thursday night, April 12, the Marana Unified School District Governing Board said there weren't enough votes to close the school after the 2-2 split vote.

Thornydale has been on the brink of closure since the district sent out a notice to parents that the closure was up for consideration in early March. The reason was low enrollment numbers and increasing costs to operate the school. From 1996 to 2016 the school's enrollment went down more than 250 students.

Had the board voted to close the school, the roughly 300 students would have had to head to a new school as early as June 2019. Boundaries would have been redrawn to include Quail Run Elementary School and Butterfield Elementary School.

Transportation to either school would have been provided for students.

Knowing now that the school some say is a "community school" in a tight-knit area will stay open, families are happy with the decision.

"Even if it seems to some as a postponement we'll take it because we've put a lot of energy and time and heart into saving our school," Thornydale parent Nicole Felix Pogue said.

There was quite a showing of support from parents to keep the school open at Thursday's meeting. Dozens were in attendance to push the school board to vote to keep Thornydale up and running. One mother says her support to keep the school open, comes from the school's support for her son who has special needs.

"My son, who can't audibly speak, who have speech therapy at Thornydale Elementary. I'm a parent who speaks for those who can't speak for themselves. And if he could speak he would tell you he feels loved every single day he goes to school."

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