South San ISD board votes to close three schools

Athens Elementary, Kazen Middle School and alternative school to shut down

By David Ibanez - Web - Managing Editor

SAN ANTONIO - The South San Antonio Independent School District School Board late Wednesday night voted to close three schools.

The board voted to shut down Athens Elementary, Kazen Middle School and the alternative school, district officials said.

The closures were approved by a narrow 4-3 vote.

"I kind of understand, but I don't agree with it because the kids should come first. But I guess we don't have the last word," said Joanna Hernandez, whose child attends Athens Elementary.

School officials have said that students at Athens Elementary will attend Carillo and Price elementary schools, while Kazen Middle School students will attend Zamora and Dwight middle schools.

"All of his friends that are in his class right now are the ones that he started school with. They are like his little brothers and sisters," said Erica Morales, whose child attends Athens Elementary. "He's in fourth grade and he's not even going to be able to graduate as a Cowboy. I went to school here."

Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra and his staff said that falling enrollment numbers have created underused classrooms, which is costing the district money.

"They lied to us (in) that they don't listen to the community. We had over 800 signatures that were against the closure of the schools, but yet they still voted to close the schools," said Angelita Olvera, who attended the board meeting.

The board also voted to create an advisory committee to determine what's best for the closed campuses, district officials said.

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