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Wasson community urges school administration to keep school open

By Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
Published On: Jan 16 2013 11:24:50 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2013 11:27:16 PM CST

Students, parents and staff are not ready to retire Wasson High School. That's what School District 11 leaders learned from a public forum Wednesday on a proposal that could close the school and two other elementary schools next year.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Students, parents and staff are not ready to retire Wasson High School. That's what School District 11 leaders learned from a public forum Wednesday on a proposal that could close the school and two other elementary schools next year.

According to district administration, Wasson is on the chopping block because of low enrollment. The plan is to combine a number of alternative schools and programs onto the Wasson campus and distribute their students across Palmer, Mitchell, Doherty and Coronado high schools.

Many who came out for the informational meeting disagree with the plan.

"All we're talking about and what we're saying is going in one ear and out  the other," said James Case, a parent with two teens at the school. "They're not taking into consideration our feelings as parents for our kids."

Others agree that the school board had their mind made up on closing Wasson before a task force looking into the idea was ever formed.

"No other high school was targeted in this manner," wrote one concerned parent who wishes to remain anonymous. "How is it they started with a proposal and then developed information that would justify what they proposed? This is nothing more than reverse engineering."

Another concern to arise from the public comment section is that some believe the school is trying to save money and putting that ahead of student achievement. The feeling is that once the Wasson students are spread across the school district other high schools may be too crowded.

Case said his son never felt excited about going to school until he found the right fit at Wasson.

"Through all the problems that we've had in the past with other schools and him not wanting to go to school and being bullied,  there's none of that here," said Case.

Bates and Lincoln elementary schools may also close as part of this plan.

A final decision is expected February 6.

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