East Valley schools are bustling with students back in class, tackling geography and math, but one campus wears a deserted look. Compadre High School’s satellite campus in Guadalupe was shut down earlier this year after enrollment dipped from 60 to 16, and efforts to keep the school going failed.
Of the 16 remaining students, four graduated at the end of summer school in July, two made the transition to Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe and 10 moved to Compadre High School’s main campus near the Tempe Union High School District administrative offices.
Sean McDonald, the new principal at Compadre, chose not to comment on why the school had to close, but said he would make sure the remaining students would be served well.
“Not all students learn the same way,” McDonald said. “Some need individualized instruction to help them move up in school.”
District officials said employees would not be affected by the move. Two teachers who taught at the satellite campus, located at a Boys and Girls Club facility near Guadalupe Road and Avenida Del Yaqui, will return to Compadre’s main campus.
Tempe acquired what was known as Guadalupe Regional High School from the Maricopa County Regional School District after the regional district deemed the campus financially unviable. But this February, former Compadre principal Bridget Carrington told board members that retaining students was a challenge.
A $1 million-dollar budget shortfall in the Tempe Union district for the 2007-08 school year meant no funding for the Guadalupe campus.
Running the satellite school cost $256,393, according to a status report this April, while revenue fell short at nearly $180,000.
But the district attributes the closing to severe special education needs that could not be met by the school.
“A lot of the students were tested in the last school year, and their special education needs weren’t being met at the Boys and Girls Club site,” Tempe Union district spokeswoman Linda Littel said.
She added that students and parents were made aware of the transition plans, and students resisted the idea because they wanted to attend the school in their neighborhood.
District Superintendent Steve Adolph expressed confidence in the governing board’s decision to transfer the few remaining students enrolled in the satellite program to the other high schools.
“Their needs will be effectively met,” he said.