Oakland Unified narrows down list of schools up for possible closures or mergers

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Oakland Unified School District this week went over a plan to possibly close or merge 15 schools. If approved, the closures could begin this fall.

"The idea is to consolidate programs so we have enough students in the school to provide the kind of resources we know our kids need," said School Board President Gary Yee.

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At a special board meeting Monday, they presented a portfolio listing what schools could be impacted, and the reasons for this proposal. In that report, the district claims enrollment has been going down for several years. Plus they expect a budget deficit in the next two school years. The board president thinks this However, this proposal is met with strong criticism from the community. Most of the schools listed for change serve communities of color.

"They make these decisions that it is to benefit our students but each year they take something away from them," said Venessa Campuzano, a parent in the district. "It is frustrating because we don't feel like they are taking the community into consideration at all."

The plan from the district is to roll out two phases. Phase one involves changes to this upcoming school year. Phase two would be for the following year. Right now, 15 schools could see changes if this plan is approved.

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"I will have to look for another school and build that relationship," Campuzano said. "We have been at the same school this whole time and my daughter is comfortable with all her teachers. There are multiple families like us."

If the plan is approved, students will be relocated to other schools nearby. The board is expected to vote on this plan Feb. 8. Here is a current list of schools potentially impacted:

Phase 1:

  • Prescott - closed

  • Carl Munck - closed

  • Parker K-8 - closed, K-5 and 6-8 grades to be separated.

  • Brookfield - closed

  • Rise/New Highland - two schools to merge together

  • Grass Valley - closed

  • La Escuelita - 6-8 grades closed

  • Westlake - merge with West Oakland Middle

  • Ralph J. Bunche - move to Westlake for 22-23 school year. Merge with Dewey for 23-24 school year.

  • Community Day School - closed

Phase 2:

  • Horace Mann - closed

  • Manzanita Community School - merge with Fruitvale

  • Korematsu Discovery Academy - closed

  • Hillcrest - 6-8 grades closed

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