Superintendent of Pueblo City Schools recommends closing two schools

Local

At a school board meeting Thursday, the Pueblo City Schools Board of Education learned
Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso is recommending to close Heroes K-8 and Minnequa Elementary
schools at the end of the school year.

The classrooms are already overcrowded. What’s going to happen when we close even five schools in the district? It’s not going to help our students, said Greg Gehlhoff, a parent of kids who attend Minnequa Elementary. 

District 60 said the recommendation was reached after a series of community stakeholder meetings that have been ongoing since January. But FOX21 spoke with a stakeholder of East High School who said that isn’t true. 

There are many times we don’t feel listened to, said Jackie Helzer, a booster club member with East High School. 

Helzer said District 60 is also looking to close East High School. 

We want East High School to succeed,” Helzer said. “We want it here and that is why we’re fighting so hard to keep East High School open.”

Some parents said they are wondering where all the state funding is going. 

In a state with $100 million in cannabis revenue, and we’re closing schools? This is wrong, Gehlhoff said

We are facing the fact that we have aging buildings that are in need of costly repair and maintenance,” Macaluso said in a statement. “We are combating significant declining enrollment that is exacerbated by online and charter schools. We are facing a mounting pressure by a misguided and flawed state accountability system that focuses primarily on test score performance and discounts other valuable leading indicators of improvement and fails to recognize a ‘holistic’ picture of school quality. We are struggling to compensate our employees and retain teachers in the face of a severe teacher shortage. All this is compounded with the fact that our public schools are severely underfunded.

Meetings to discuss the proposal will be held Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Heroes K-8 Academy auditorium, and Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Minnequa Elementary School. 

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