The Tempe Union High School District kept a school in Guadalupe open this year, but its future is in jeopardy again.
Since acquiring Guadalupe Regional High School from the Maricopa County Regional School District in the fall, enrollment has dropped from 60 students to just 25, said Bridget Carrington, principal of Tempe’s Compadre High School.
Carrington oversees the school, now called Guadalupe Satellite at Compadre High.
The county district turned over the school after officials said they could no longer financially support the facility, which is located in Guadalupe.
Within a few weeks, the district hired a consultant to establish relationships with the town and help prepare the site for the new school year.
Carrington told board members Wednesday night that getting students to attend class regularly is one of the site’s biggest challenges.
“We show increased (testing) progress, but enrollment is still a concern,” Carrington said. “A lot have dropped off because of attendance.”
Carrington said many students had missed too many classes according to state requirements and the school was forced to drop them.
About 12 other students transferred to Compadre High at the beginning of the school year, she said.
In addition, many students had to attend school elsewhere due to a lack of program offerings.
Thirteen students were designated as “English learners” or “special education” and had to be sent to Tempe’s Marcos de Niza High School for specialized attention the Guadalupe school couldn’t give them, Carrington said.
Other students transferred to Marcos de Niza simply for elective courses.
Board member Robin Arredondo-Savage requested the district set up a round-table discussion with all interested parties “before we jump to conclusions about the future of the satellite program.”
District spokeswoman Linda Littell said Thursday district administrators will review information, including the cost of the program, and enrollment numbers, and then make a recommendation to board members on the school’s future during a study session March 28.
Board President Zita Johnson said despite the outcome, she’s proud of the district’s effort to take care of the students.
“Without this, their school would have closed,” she said.