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Tucson Unified proposes reopening Wakefield Middle School

District shuttered school in 2013
Wakefield Middle School.jpg
Posted at 12:29 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 00:32:33-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Wakefield Middle School may reopen its doors to students, and the district wants to know what you think.

Tucson Unified School District hosted a community meeting Tuesday night about potentially reopening Wakefield Middle School on the city's south side.

The school building has housed the youth center Higher Ground since 2013.

At Tuesday's meeting, many people who live in the area said they're excited about the idea of the school reopening.

TUSD's goals for Wakefield are to make it a non-boundary laboratory school, meaning any student in Tucson could attend. Enrollment would be capped at 400 students.

The school would attract the best teachers and student teachers from the University of Arizona.

Samuel Brown, TUSD's legal counsel, says ideally, those student teachers will stay in the district to help fill teacher vacancies.

The plans for Wakefield come as the district battles a decades-long desegregation lawsuit. If the school reopened, Brown says they would use a lottery system to try to control the racial and ethnic makeup of the school to keep it diverse.

Many people have expressed concern to district staff over reserving seats for south side students, since the school is in their neighborhood.

The cost of reopening Wakefield is about $2 million, according to Brown.

TUSD will know sometime early next year if they can open enrollment for sixth graders to start school in August.

You can fill out an online comment form on Wakefield possibly reopening here.