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D60 Board of Education votes to close Heroes Academy, Minnequa to remain open

Posted at 10:32 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 00:38:03-04

PUEBLO – Heroes Academy will officially close at the end of this school year.

On Tuesday, Pueblo City Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to shut down the elementary and middle schools.

The original recommendation from Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso was to close Heroes Academy and Minnequa Elementary based on low performance and costly repairs. However, after community meetings and taking other things into consideration, Minnequa will remain open at least for now.

“I was ready to say I’m heartbroken,” said Shannan Lane, an educator at Minnequa Elementary. She was prepared for the worst on Tuesday night thinking her school could be closed by a vote from the board of education.

“I’m excited. I’m happy.”

Dalton Sprouse, director of communications for D60, said, “Minnequa is a true neighborhood school. We see that those kids from that neighborhood are going there. Minnequa also has some outstanding programs that we think need more time to develop.”

The board decided something different for Heroes as Superintendent Macaluso said, “I offer the following school closure recommendations: closure of Heroes Elementary School, closure of Heroes Middle School.”

Bric Dziak, a teacher at Heroes, said, “I’m glad and I’m grateful that Minnequa will remain open…for Heroes it is a difficult decision.”

Dziak said there is no other public middle school on the northwest quadrant of Pueblo.

“Our students that we serve at Heroes are already a very vulnerable and marginalized population so it feels kind of like we’re shutting another door in their face, and I just hope that we can figure out a plan for them that will give them some stability.”

As for Lane, her heart goes out to everyone connected to Heroes.

“Those kids have a big change and parents and families…it could be us next year.”

Her focus now is to keep students at Minnequa moving, in the hopes of getting off the accountability clock and improve state test scores.

The school district said it will be working to implement a transition plan for Heroes. That will include information on new boundaries, transportation, student support services, and a school choice application process. It was brought up at the meeting that elementary students would most likely go to Irving or Morton. Middle schoolers would go to Risley or Heaton.