Big changes as TPS reconfigures schools

By Tanieya Lewis - bio | email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - The Toledo Public Schools are making some tough choices that will shake things up for families in seven neighborhoods.

Leaders with TPS met with families at Start High School Thursday night, March 5.

The district says now that the Building for Success program is mapped out, they can look for ways to deal with a drop in enrollment. TPS is looking for ways to reconfigure schools with too many or too few kids. "We don't want to keep schools that we don't have enough students to fill. We want to use tax payers money wisely, so that's why we have to look at some consolidations," Board Member Darlene Fisher said. "Take the Start community, she added, "They have two middle schools and two elementaries, plus another school that is going to offer k-8."

So the district needs to draw out new neighborhood boundaries to consolidate those buildings. Board members say other schools that don't fall under the master plan may close to save district dollars.

TPS is holding other public meetings, but board member Darlene Fisher says the true nature of the meetings has not been clear. "I saw the communication, and quite frankly, that communication wouldn't make me want to attend a meeting. So that's why I'm out today talking to news organizations like yourself to make sure people know the real stature of the meetings."

Board members say closing schools is not out of the question while the district deals with declining enrollment. That means schools like Libbey that don't fall under it's master plan may close its doors for good.

Nothing is set in stone. Board members want to hear ideas and concerns from families before they make any decisions. "Those community members really know their neighborhoods very, very well. So that's why it's important that they be a part of this process," said Board Member Lisa Sobecki.

Parent Nancy Shaughnessy tells News 11, "I think if everybody comes out, everybody in the neighborhood and in the district, it'll make a difference. If only one or two people show up, then they probably won't even listen."