More Mt. Diablo schools at risk of closing

Westwood Elementary School in Concord is at risk of closing due to budget cuts.

February 9, 2011 1:12:53 PM PST
The Mount Diablo School District voted to shut down Glenbrook Middle School and Holbrook Elementary, which was expected. But a third school may still have to close, and parents say they had no clue Westwood Elementary was in danger, along with Silverwood.

The strategizing has already started at Westwood Elementary, as nervous and upset parents are trying to figure out how to keep their school open. Many of them just found out Wednesday morning that the school might be shut down.

"I was livid, I was so angry. I fought tooth and nail to get my kid in this school and now they're going to shut it down," parent Debi Scott said.

Her daughter Sarah Scott was so upset, she decided to artfully express herself by painting her clothing.

"It will get everyone to try and save the school and they will realize that this is not a good school to close down," she said.

As of Tuesday night, seven schools were on the list for possible closure and Westwood was not one of them. The parents were so confident, they were making plans to help the other schools.

"We had an art room that we had been cleaning, so that we could put desks in, so we can receive kids for our school, and that's what we've been planning on doing," parent Lynette Stanziano said.

But at Tuesday night's school board meeting, board member Gary Eberhart came up with the idea of closing Westwood in order to ease the pain at Glenbrook Middle School. The board voted to close Glenbrook and that campus was very somber on Wednesday.

"The kids have been rallying really, really hard to close our school. So this came as a shock when I heard it on the news this morning. I'm thinking 'Oh no what are we going to do?'" math teacher Eleanor Bunt said.

The idea is to move the sixth graders from Glenbrook to the Westwood building, instead of sending those students to three different schools. But parents at Westwood say the cost would be too great to their kids.

"When I told my daughter this morning, she broke down in tears, her teacher is in tears. I'm a little bit worried," parent David Gomez said.

The idea was that it would cause pain for the kids, but keep the Glenbrook students altogether because there are more kids there than there are at Westwood. The plan will be discussed again in two weeks, but they do not plan to make a decision that soon.