For Immediate Release: February 13, 2020
Contact: Johanna Villareal, 650.279.6681
Evergreen School District Board of Trustees Approves Closure/Consolidation
of Laurelwood and Dove Hill Elementary Schools
(San Jose, CA) The Evergreen School District Board of Trustees voted this evening to approve the recommended closures/consolidations of Dove Hill and Laurelwood Elementary Schools at the end of the 2019-20 school year. This decision aligns with the recommendations made by Evergreen School District Superintendent Dr. Emy Flores and the 24-member Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee, comprised of parents, staff and Evergreen community members. The School Consolidation Report and Superintendent's Recommendation to the Board of Trustees can be found at: bit.ly/38oOTc4
In October 2019, the Board of Trustees approved the closure/consolidation of two schools at the end of the 2019-20 school year and one school at the end of the 2020-21 school year to address a $12 million financial shortfall that is the result of rising operating costs and declining enrollment.
"The decision to close Dove Hill and Laurelwood Elementary Schools is the result of a thorough analysis of the current and future demographics as they relate to the Evergreen School District's enrollment and school boundaries, consideration of the positive and negative factors related to closing these schools, as well as variables, including location and community impact," said Dr. Flores. "From a fiscal perspective, we also considered the potential costs of facility improvements for the schools, as well as transportation costs, in addition to the impacts that lower enrollment has on the efficient operation of schools," she continued.
In addition to achieving the fiscal stability goals for the district, this analysis showed that the resulting school closures and consolidations will, in fact, provide some benefits to the community, including: providing some students a home school of attendance closer to their residence in the community, reducing challenges for families to getting into and out of Laurelwood Elementary School, reducing the potential number of grade combination classes, and moving students to schools with larger classrooms to accommodate new approaches to teaching and learning.
"As a former principal in our district, I am intimately aware of how this decision to close schools impacts the families and staff at those schools, which makes this decision all that more difficult," said Leila Welch, President of the Evergreen School District Board of Trustees. "However, our Board of Trustees is moving forward with this decision because we need to do what is best for all students as we face closing a $12 million financial shortfall and declining enrollment. I am grateful that we will be maintaining our innovative and excellent programs, maintaining student to teacher ratios and preparing our students for our increasingly competitive global society," she continued.
In addition to the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee, stakeholders were provided a number of opportunities to remain informed and engaged throughout the process through the School Consolidation website, videos, two Board of Trustees public hearings, various community input sessions and information meetings over the past two months, as well as district leadership meetings with staff members and families at Dove Hill and Laurelwood Elementary Schools.
Evergreen School District is appointing a transition team to coordinate different activities to facilitate a smooth transition for students and staff of the affected schools over the next few months, including activities for families to interact with the new campuses, staffing re-assignments, and the movement of supplies and equipment to the new school campuses.
"I would like to thank our community for their engagement in this process, and for supporting our Evergreen family during this transition. We know our future is strong, and our students will continue to be successful," said Dr. Flores. More information can be found at eesd.org/schoolconsolidation. An audio recording from the February 13, 2020 Board of Trustees meeting is available here.
About Evergreen School District
The Evergreen School District serves 10,516 TK-8 students and operates fifteen elementary schools (K-6) and three middle schools (7-8) that provide a wide variety of educational programs to children who live in the Evergreen community located in the eastern area of San Jose, California. Evergreen prides itself on having teachers, classified employees, and administrators who are dedicated, experienced professionals who care about each student's well-being and academic preparation. More information about Evergreen School District can be found at www.eesd.org.
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