ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — The Alameda Unified School District voted to get rid of 6th through 8th grades at Bay Farm School Tuesday night through a multi-year phase-out. While many parents disagree, officials said the school district would continue to lose money if they did not act immediately.
The decision to was made just hours ago changing the school’s class options to now only be K through 5th Grade.
Parents say they just found about the closure last month and have been protesting that the district to wait one to two years. But Tuesday night, that request was denied.
Tuesday night’s virtual meeting went past 10 pm.
A proposal from the superintendent argued that the district is operating more schools and programs than other districts that are the same size.
Because of this, the district is ultimately losing money and has been for years.
This came as a shock to parents who said they just learned about the closing weeks ago and that they send their kids there because its smaller.
The added that if it is going to close, it needs to be pushed back.
Parents also argued that the California School Board said facts need to be gathered by an independent committee, not by the board and they want the public involved along with better alternatives.
Officials said parents may feel this decision was just sprung on them, but the discussion of closing the school’s 6th to 8th grades has been going on behind the scenes since 2018. They added that enrollment starts to drop in the 6th Grade for Bay Farms.
“Our intention is to support current Bay Farm 6th and 7th grade students in completing 8th grade at Bay Farm if that is what families choose,” the school district told KRON4. “The decision last night means the multi-year phase out will begin in August by not enrolling for the 64 6th grade seats that have historically been available.”
Delaying the vote to cut the classes would not make much of a difference but parents feel otherwise.
Bay Farm 6th through 8th grades has a population of 192. Down the road at Lincoln Middle School, the population is 900.
The current 6th and 7th graders should be able to continue at Bay Farm School given the school year is set to end in the next few months. But the board referred to this change as “phasing out,” which will take place over several years.