Cupertino Union district approves school consolidation, closures

Bay Area

CUPERTINO, Calif. (KRON) — After six years of declining student enrollment, the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) is moving forward with closing and consolidating several schools within the district. 

CUSD tells KRON4 News, like many other districts in Santa Clara County, it is experiencing a decline in student enrollment over the last several years. 

The district lost more than 4,900 students since the 2015-2016 school year and is expected to continue losing an additional 4,000 students in the next eight years. 

“I think there’s a number of factors that play, a lot of empty nesters are staying in their homes longer, young families aren’t able to move into the area due to cost of housing, cost of living,” said Erin Lindsey, director of communications for CUSD. 

 “And I think we’re seeing a decline in birth rates as well, families are not having as many children or possibly delaying in having children until they’re a little bit older.”

Last night, after hours of public comment and deliberations, the Board of Trustees approved to move forward with six recommendations for school constellation and closure. 

Recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: Continuing to monitor the enrollment of Middle Schools through the 2025-2026 school year, and if a Middle School falls below enrollment of 700 to convene a new Citizens Advisory Committee to consider the need to close a Middle School.

Recommendation 2: Consolidate Muir Elementary School for the 2022-23 and beyond, current John Muir Elementary School students and new families moving into the current Muir boundary may choose to attend Dilworth or Blue Hills. The Muir YCC and Muir Cuperdoodle programs (Mandarin and English) will remain on the Muir campus. 

Recommendation 3: Re-locate Cupertino Language Immersion Program (CLIP) to the Muir School Site. (Effective 2022-23)

Recommendation 4: Close Regnart Elementary for the 2022-23 school year and beyond, current Regnart students and new families moving into the current Regnart boundary may choose to attend Lincoln or Blue Hills. (Effective 2022-23)

Recommendation 5: Close Meyerholz School Site or the 2022-23 school year and beyond, current Meyerholz neighborhood students and new families moving into the current Meyerholz boundary will join Dilworth. However, families may also choose to attend Eaton or Blue Hills. (Effective 2022-23)

Recommendation 6: Alternative school programs (CLIP, Faria, McAuliffe, and Murdock-Portal) would have no more than four (4) kindergarten classes.

“I know that the decision to close schools has been difficult for our community, and I am so grateful we have parents that care so deeply for their schools and teachers,” said Stacy Yao, CSUD Superintendent in a statement Friday. 

“We will continue to engage all of our community to ensure the closures maintain the relationships and bonds that our families have developed.”

Lindsey tells KRON4 News that the decision for CUSD to move forward with school consolidation and closures comes after voters rejected a Measure A Parcel earlier this year.

Based on community input and feedback the district modified the recommendations to allow families affected by school consolidation or closure to have options in selecting which elementary school their child will attend beginning in the 2022-23 school year. 

“Our focus now moving forward is to make that transition as smooth as possible, so come August all of those students and families that are a part of those new school communities feel welcomed and ready to learn,” said Lindsey.

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