Elmwood families prepare for school to close
Parents, students and teachers are about to learn the fate of Elmwood Elementary. The Syracuse Board of Education will vote Wednesday on whether or not to close the school. The superintendent met with parents, teachers and students Tuesday night about the logistics of closing the school. The school's Family-Teacher Organization invited YNN to the meeting, but district officials would not let us inside. Our Katie Gibas tells us what the proposal will mean for the community.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- For Elmwood Elementary students, this will likely be the last year they call the school home.
"It's hard for me because I grew up here and all of my friends are here," said Tarnasia Dacres, an Elmwood student.
Chole McIntyre, another Elmwood student, added, "It's my home school and this is the only school I've been to since pre-k, about six or seven years. All my friends are here. It's going to be hard to let it go."
Jalin Rosa, also an Elmwood student said, "It's a good school, and I don't want it to close because I want to come here for 5th grade."
"Elmwood school, I think they shouldn't close it down because we are good students are we are doing our best," said Mikela Harper, an Elmwood student.
The board of education will likely vote Wednesday to close the school when they adopt their budget. The driving factors behind the decision to close are the district's financial crisis and the school's poor performance on state tests. Less than 10 percent of the school's 4th graders passed the state English exam.
"This is something we think will help make our children succeed because we don't have the resources to help them succeed here," said Michelle Mignano, a SCSD Education Commissioner.
Last year, parents were outraged by the proposal to close the school. This year, the reaction is the opposite.
"If I knew that my child was in a failing class or the school itself, there is no way I would have fought to keep it open," said Eliza Sampson, an Elmwood parent.
Twiggy Billue, Elmwood Family-Teacher Organization President added, "As the superintendent said, the district hasn't supported the building in the way that it should have, the teachers and the students, and so forth and so on. Now we have the opportunity to be in areas where there are high concentrations in investment into the kids as well as the teachers."
Parents say while it will be difficult to see the school close, they're all for the decision if their children will get the support they need to succeed.