Parents express concerns following proposal to turn West Avenue Elementary into pre-K academy

Students at elementary to get transferred; no employees expected to lose jobs

SAN ANTONIO – Parents at West Avenue Elementary School are shocked and disappointed to hear the news about the possible closure of the campus.

Victoria Rubio was waiting for her child outside the campus Thursday and had not heard the news announced by email to families the day before.  

“I’m shocked, really,” she said. “I’m part of the PTA. The principal hasn’t said anything to me.”

She lives just down the street from the school. She attended the school, and now her kids do the same.

“I have family history here. My mother went here too, I think. All the generations have gone to this school,” Rubio said.

Gabriella Montes said the possible changes could really impact how she gets her son to and from school, which is in a short walking distance.

“My grandmother is the one who helps me watch him, so she can't really walk. So I would have to figure out how our transportation would work,” she said.

Aubrey Chancellor, spokesperson for the North East Independent School District, said closed-door meetings have been going on for about a year about the decision to close the smallest elementary school in the district. The plan is to turn it into the district’s first pre-kindergarten academy.  

“It didn’t look like West Avenue had any potential to grow. It was small, and it was continuing to get smaller,” Chancellor said. “It’s in a landlocked area. There’s no new development. The community is aging."

The 30 or so teachers in the school will get first choice to transfer to a different school, and no one on staff is expected to lose their jobs. The students at West Avenue Elementary will get transfered to Dellview or Olmos elementary schools.

The pre-kindergarten academy will accept 202 students who would otherwise attend Dellview, Olmos or Jackson Keller elementary school. One hundred other students from NEISD who qualify will be accepted, and 100 others from outside the district can also apply, as well as roughly 18 children with disabilities.

The school will hold a meeting Tuesday to discuss the concerns with parents. The board is expected to take a vote on the subject Oct. 8.

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