TUCSON- The Marana Unified School Board voted to close Thornydale elementary Thursday night with a 4-to-1 vote.
Now, students will have to be placed at either Quail Run or Butterfield Elementary Schools.
When interviewed earlier this week, some parents who have students at Butterfield said that the parking lot is already crowded during pick-up time and that they hoped the board decided to keep Thornydale Elementary school open.
The decision to close Thornydale comes after nearly 300 parents and PTO members showed up at a meeting in Marana in November to make their feelings heard about the Marana Unified School District possible closing an elementary school.
In a letter to parents, superintendent Doug Wilson said enrollment at the school has dwindled from 733 to 306 students since 1994.
The district considered closing the school earlier this year but voted to keep it open in April after parents vocally opposed the closure.
The district governing board revisited the issue at a Nov. 20 meeting at Thornydale, the K-6 school, located at 7651 N. Oldfather Drive.
Here is the full text of Doug Wilson's letter:
To MUSD Parents/Guardians:
As part of the Marana Unified School District's commitment to keep the media and community informed of issues related to any of our schools, please be advised of the following Public Meetings:
Over the past several years, the Marana district has closely monitored student enrollment numbers at Thornydale Elementary School. Enrollment has declined at Thornydale since 1994, with an enrollment of 733 students, to an enrollment of 306 students this year. The District contributes the consistent decline in enrollment due to the neighborhood having matured resulting in fewer elementary school age students in the area. In addition, the District recognizes that no new homes are projected to be built in the future which would contribute to growth in the Thornydale area. In keeping with good fiscal responsibility the District acknowledges that school district budget revenues are solely generated on a per pupil basis; therefore school enrollment is vitally important to the sustainability of a school.
PUT THE VIDEO HERErning Board of the Marana Unified School District will conduct a Public Meeting on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. The meeting will be held at 6:00pm at Thornydale Elementary School Cafeteria located at 7651 N. Old Father Drive, Tucson, AZ 85741. In accordance with A.R.S. §15-341(A)(32), District parents and guardians are being informed of this meeting in which the school district Governing Board shall hear reasons for or against the closure of Thornydale Elementary School.
At this same Public Meeting on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, a proposed change to current attendance boundaries for Quail Run Elementary School and Butterfield Elementary School will be presented with the reasons for or against the closure of Thornydale Elementary School. The proposed boundary would change the attendance boundary currently serving the Thornydale Elementary area to either Quail Run Elementary or Butterfield Elementary. Information regarding the proposed boundary change and a map delineating the proposed change can be viewed on the District's Website at www.maranausd.org.
On Thursday, December 6, 2018, the school district Governing Board may vote on this matter during their regularly scheduled Governing Board Public Meeting. The meeting will begin at 7:00pm at the Marana Municipal Complex, 11555 W. Civic Drive in Marana, Arizona 85653.
District Administration and the Governing Board take the discussion to close Thornydale due to declining enrollment very seriously and is not one that is taken lightly. The District also recognizes it is their fiscal responsibility to ensure school sustainability for all 12,300 students served and to be responsible for the resources entrusted to the District by taxpayers.
Parents, students, staff, and community are encouraged to attend the Governing Board Public Meetings to share their thoughts. If unable to attend the Public Meetings, information can be shared with the Governing Board utilizing the District's "Let's Talk" 24/7 communication tool, or by providing a written statement to the school principal, or email at MUSD6@maranausd.org.
Doug Wilson, Ed.D.