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Glendale Elementary School District forced to close more schools

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Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 21:43:58-04

GLENDALE — The Glendale Elementary School District is getting ready to close and repurpose more schools.

While the district says this decision is what’s best for continued learning, some parents are having a hard time letting go.

“I hope they don’t close it. I hope they can stay open,” Rocio Arreola told ABC15.

Arreola says Desert Garden Elementary, which is turning into a preschool at the end of the school year, is very special to her family.

“Because it was my first child that I bring here for school, like 15 years ago,” she said.

Soon though, her kids will have to leave the school they love.

“They’re going to change it to Challenger School, and I think Challenger School is too small for all these kids and the Challenger’s kids,” added Arreola.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Barragan, with the Glendale Elementary School District, says while it may be a hard change for some… it’s a necessary one.

“We’ve been communicating for the last four, five years that we're seeing a downward enrollment decline,” he told ABC15.

He says these are the driving forces:

“You know, birth rates are low. Affordable housing, we believe that is a challenge for our community, and then lastly just competition from other educational institutions,” Barragan added.

Barragan says these challenges forced the district to close two schools last year.

“Imes and Sine were closed. Imes, you know we’re looking into some grants. It’s a historical building and so we’d like to preserve that. Sine is there and it’s closed,” he said.

Bicentennial North will also close at the end of the school year. Two others will be repurposed.

“Coyote Ridge is going to be the systems of care, and then we have Desert Garden that’s going to be the preschool,” said the Glendale Elementary School Assistant Superintendent.

Barragan says the closures are part of a multi-year plan to keep the district financially solvent, so they’re not taken over by the state.

“We created a map of new boundaries and directed them into the areas which they will now be attending. And we’re going to work very hard to make sure it’s a smooth transition,” he added.

Students from these schools will be reassigned to the following sites for the 2022-2023 school year:

  • Coyote Ridge - students reassigned to Discovery
  • Desert Garden  - students reassigned to Challenger or Don Mensendick
  • Bicentennial North - students reassigned to Bicentennial South or Don Mensendick

The Phase II transitions also include reconfiguring some schools to a kindergarten through eighth grade (K-8) model and boundary changes for some families based on new grid code assignments:

  • Bicentennial South is reconfigured to a K-8 model
  • Challenger is reconfigured to a K-8 model
  • Don Mensendick is reconfigured to a K-8 model 
  • William C. Jack is reconfigured to a K-8 model
  • Don Mensendick will have some students go to William C. Jack 
  • Discovery will have some students go to Sunset Vista

You can check your child's assigned school based on GESD grid codes here.