Three South Bay schools closing over declining enrollment, funding

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Parents and students at three schools in the South Bay received devastating news Friday that their schools will be closing due to declining enrollment and funding. (KGO-TV)

Parents and students at three schools in the South Bay received devastating news Friday that their schools will be closing due to declining enrollment and funding.

A lot of hugs and even some tears were shed at Del Roble Elementary School. Parents and students just learned once the school year is over, the campus will close. "I've been trying not to cry this morning. Both my kids have been here since kindergarten," said Mara Privitt, a mother who has two students attending Del Roble. She bought her home 10 years ago before she and her husband had children, so they could walk their kids to schools.

The other two schools slated to shut down are Miner and Glider elementary. Both are in the Oakgrove School District. Even the youngest student knew what was behind the closure. "They don't get enough money and they don't get enough people to come here," said Amelia West, a 5-year-old student in transitional kindergarten at Del Roble.

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The district says it has had declining enrollment over the last decade. It's also been suffering financially for years. Numerous meetings were held so parents and students could voice their concerns."They recommended the closures of four out of the five schools with the highest minority populations and I don't think that's fair," said Shaun Tanner, a father of three students at Del Roble.

Some said the closest schools are miles away and it will put a strain on working parents who will now have to drive their children.

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Some students are already trying to look ahead. When ABC7 News asked Amelia what she hoped for, she replied, "to have nice friends and to have a nice teacher."

Parents like Tanner plan on mobilizing parents from the other schools and tell the board at the district that it is unacceptable. The district said in the coming months, students will receive letters notifying them which school they have been reassigned to. Once enrollment is finalized, teachers and staff will find out where they will go.

Superintendent José L. Manzo released a statement saying, "We are deeply saddened to announce the closure of Del Roble Elementary, George Miner Elementary, and Glider Elementary. The decision to close schools was an extremely difficult one. After an extensive school consolidation study and recommendation, our Board of Trustees made the agonizing decision to close schools effective the 2018-19 school year. School districts throughout the state are facing painful reductions and possible school closures. This school closure process allows us to maximize diminishing resources and deliver quality education at the highest standards to all of our students. Del Roble, Glider, and Miner will be closing, but the students, families, and teachers will be welcomed at receiving schools with open arms, and will emerge together as new communities. As a district, we come together during this difficult time to ensure our students thrive and to ensure every child's potential is achieved."

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