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It may not be the seventh grade students that would lose the opportunity to attend Gilbert Jr. High School. They could allow for the school to remain open for 8th grade students only during 2013/2014 year to let the students complete their education if the parent committee decides to do that per Mr. Sacha. The students that would lose their identity to attend GJHS would be the feeder school 6 graders who would be bused in the fall of 2013 to the other junior high schools. What occurred last night was a sad example of politics gone awry... as the board unintentionally pitted two factions of parents PRO closing the school (GCA) parents and PRO keeping the school open (GJHS) parents during the discussions. As a matter of disclosure, members of the board should have noted their positions prior to the discussion. It would have saved the GJHS parents from wasting their time in performing their civic duty. As noted in the article, some did leave the meeting because of its late hours, but others also left, not because of the time, but their realization of the outcome. Incidentally the most to gain were the GCA parents and students as they would now be able to move into the facility from an already crowded campus, as well as those students on the waiting list. What is incorrect is the title of the motion or school business agenda 6.02 Approval to close the school. A careful observer would note that the school is not closing its doors. The school is losing its identity, its name, its history, its curriculum, its teachers and administrators, and the local residents are losing the benefit of having their children attend a school in their neighborhoods. Sadly , Mr. Sacha professionally admonished the superintendent during the public forum about counseling members of the school board to carefully think about attending the parent meeting held on September 25th.
It was unfortunate that the 3 of the Board Members (Anderson, Sacha and Hollands gave indications throughout the discussions through their mannerisms and communications that they had made up their minds before the discussions. Ms. Burks attempt to ask the board for more time to study the issue fell on deaf ears. Twice the board let her motions die waitng for her motions for a "seconds." The fact that the strategic plan was designed in the summer by a committee of businessmen, members of the community, and district administrators based on declining enrollment at the junior high school made the outcome of its closing a done deal for students and parents of GJHS. What's not clear is who were members of the committee?
In respect to A.R.S. 15-341(33), its unclear who was invited to the meeting last night. and what information was provided to parents and if 10 days notice were provided for "ALL" parents affected by the decision to close the school to attend the meeting. Had I not received a notice from concerned parents in the neighborhood on my front door, I probably would not have been there either. However, the superintendent did provide a diagram outlining the new school boundaries with numbers of students who would be affect and the impacts to various other middle schools populations and numbers, including the feeder schools affected by the Board's decision last night, it is quite apparent to an ordinary person, by looking at the numbers and , school boundaries which parents and students in the district would be affected by the closure of the school and should have been invited. Now, were all those parents notified... that is a question for the parents of GJHS to ask and the school board members to answer???7 months ago