Background on School Consolidation Process
In February 2020, following a four-month stakeholder engagement process, the Evergreen School District’s Board of Education approved the consolidation of Laurelwood and Dove Hill Elementary Schools at the end of the 2019-20 school year, and the consolidation of a third school, at the end of the 2020-21 school year. These consolidations were both necessary and required as part of our district’s fiscal stabilization plan to close a $12 million budget shortfall, due in large part to declining enrollment.
Staff and community members who followed the school consolidation discussions in 2018-2020 are also aware that OB Whaley School was referred to as the third school to consider for closure after the first two schools, Dove Hill and Laurelwood closed.
The Evergreen School District Board subsequently determined that closing a third school during the COVID-19 Pandemic would put an immense strain not only on staff and resources, but also would disrupt communities at a critical time when so much anguish and anxiety about school already existed.
Current Activity and Status
On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the Evergreen School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved the recommendation of Dr. Antoine Hawkins, Superintendent of Schools to keep O.B. Whaley Elementary School open and to repurpose the school as a Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Magnet School.
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Interactive graphic of enrollment changes in California from 2001 through 2020.
Source: Xie, Yuxuan and Willis, Daniel J. "Big drop during pandemic caps two decades of enrollment swings in California schools." EdSource, March 23, 2022.