Public speaks out on Mesa schools proposals - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Public speaks out on Mesa schools proposals

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Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 9:27 pm | Updated: 12:44 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Mesa parents, staff and community members continue to express their opinions about the school district's proposals to make changes next school year.

Since Nov. 11, the Mesa Unified School District has received more than 80 e-mails from people who have used the district's Web site to make comments on the plans.

In August, Superintendent Mike Cowan formed a district committee to examine enrollment, capacity, building condition and other issues surrounding the 67,000-student district. The district has lost 6,000 students in the last eight years, and 22 neighborhood schools are running at 80 percent of student capacity or less.

The committee put together eight proposals that include new uses for some campuses, adding ninth-graders at three comprehensive high schools next year and the other high schools in the future, and creating new programs to attract students who may now attend charter schools or private schools.

The first community meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday at Powell Junior High School, 855 W. Eighth Ave. A second meeting will be 7 p.m. Dec. 8 during the school board meeting at the district curriculum services center, 549 N. Stapley Drive.

Here is a sampling of e-mailed comments:

"The only proposal I am against is the change at Hendrix. The one about moving all of the regular kids to Rhodes and making Hendrix just an academy. That makes me very nervous and already considering all other options for my kids."

"With a child at every level of school in the district, I am completely in agreement with the idea to move 9th grade students to the high school level."

"I understand closing Powell and am not opposed to it. I am concerned about what may be done with it after it's closed. Please remember that it is located next to an elementary school and those kids will have to walk past what you do with Powell."

"Myself and many parents agree that part of Hendrix's transformation for next year must include uniforms. Hendrix needs something to really stand out otherwise it (is) just going to be another Rhodes Jr. High."

Governing board president Mike Hughes told a group earlier this month that the final decisions may include all of these ideas or variations of them. The board hopes to vote on the matter at its Jan. 12 meeting in order to take the steps necessary to put the approved plan into place by next school year.

The recommendations can be found at www.mpsaz.org.  

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