PUEBLO – Pueblo District 60 could soon close three of its schools.
On Thursday night Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso announced her recommendations for proposed changes amidst the fact the district needs about $800 million in repairs.
Macaluso is recommending that Heroes Elementary, Heroes Middle School and Minnequa Elementary close at the end of this school year based on low performance and costly repairs.
It’s not a done deal at this point, but people are still emotional. In fact, during the meeting you could see tears being shed.
Pueblo resident Tom Carrigan said he would hate to see of any of these schools close. “I sympathize with the teachers mostly and I sympathize with the kids.”
Suzanne Ethredge, president of the Pueblo Education Association, feels the same way. “Minnequa’s where I spent my first year teaching so obviously that’s a little personal.”
Macaluso explained why she believes these facilities should close.
“Currently Minnequa is facing state intervention and sanctions regarding the accountability pathway due to the fact the school has demonstrated consecutive years of low performance.”
Her recommendation is that Minnequa be converted to a preschool center.
In terms of Heroes, which houses both an elementary and middle school, Macaluso said, “Heroes Middle School is under state-directed action for chronic ill performance.”
Beyond that, Macaluso said it would require $1.6 million to keep occupying the building due to critical repairs.
“The recommendation I make to the board of education tonight is not one that I have taken lightly.”
Board of Education President Barb Clementi said, “As you know this is not anywhere close to easy.”
The board has given Superintendent Macaluso permission to move forward by holding meetings at the schools to discuss the possibility of closure with the community.
There will be community meetings happening next week to discuss the possible closures. One will happen on Monday at 6 p.m. at Heroes Middle School. Another is scheduled to happen on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Minnequa Elementary.