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SD Unified Seeks To Build Trust With School Closure Meetings

Aired 9/26/11 on KPBS News.

The school district has started taking proposals for school closures to the community.

— By Kyla Calvert

Communities around San Diego are learning which city schools could be closed. San Diego Unified leaders will present their proposals and get community feedback through November.

In the Clairemont Cluster, the San Diego Unified School District is recommending closing Cadman Elementary.
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Above: In the Clairemont Cluster, the San Diego Unified School District is recommending closing Cadman Elementary.

San Diego Unified expects it will have to cut at least $58 million from its budget next year. The district is considering closing or consolidating up to 10 schools as part of those cuts.

Ten neighborhood clusters have been identified as having schools that meet the criteria for closure. Deputy Superintendent for Business Phil Stover started taking those findings to cluster meetings last week.

In the Mission Bay Cluster the district is suggesting moving magnet programs at Crown Point Elementary to the Bayview Terrace Elementary site and moving Mission Bay Middle School's International Baccalaureate program to the Mission Bay High school campus.

In the Clairemont Cluster, the district is recommending closing Cadman Elementary. The district's recommendation for the Henry Cluster is to close one elementary school, but a specific school is not suggested.

Stover told Clairemont school leaders that past discussions about closing schools left some community members distrustful of district administration.

“I realize that trust is not a gift that’s given, it’s a prize that’s earned. And I hope we can earn that trust with you all over the next eight weeks,” he said during a meeting Thursday.

Stover will be making initial presentations to the University City and Mira Mesa clusters tonight and others later this week.

Clusters where the district is suggesting closing or reconfiguring schools are: Mission Bay, Clairemont, Crawford, Henry, Hoover, Kearny, Madison, Morse, Serra, Point Loma, and Atypical Schools.

A schedule of meetings where community members will hear closure suggestions and district documents about the closure process and criteria are available on the district's website

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