NAACP hosts community forum on DPS low enrollment issue

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As we’ve told you before, low enrollment at several Dayton public schools could force them to close and Tuesday night hundreds of parents and concerned citizens came together to share ideas on how to fix the problem.

The Dayton Chapter of the NAACP hosted this community forum to give the public a chance to voice their concerns about this issue. Parents I spoke with say they hope the district takes their concerns into consideration before making any big decisions on school closings.

Hundreds of community members voicing concern Tuesday night, giving input on the on-going possibility of several DPS schools closing due to low enrollment.

“We wanted to have a town hall meeting with educators, administrators, parents and teachers,” NAACP Dayton Chapter President Derrick Foward said. “Who have knowledge about what it takes to run a good school.”

Tuesday night’s forum is one of several planned for the coming months to hear parents and community members concerns. However, Tuesday night’s forum at Dayton Boys Prep wasn’t hosted by the district, but the NAACP. The district says it plans to host it’s own community forum in March.

“This is a way that we can build relationships,” NAACP Dayton Chapter Education Committee Chair Lauretta Williams said. “Not only with each other and the community, but with DPS.”

Some past and current DPS teachers attended the meeting and so did several parents, like, Kalene Gordon.

“It was very good,” Gordon said. “I learned a lot.”

Gordon has a freshman in DPS schools and says she’s concerned about how the closing could impact class size and the overall quality of her child’s education.

“More of these sessions need to be held,” Gordon said. “I think that even though it drew a nice crowd I think that more people voiced their concerns I think that it would be great.”

The 9 schools with enrollment below 45 percent capacity include:

  • Meadowdale High School
  • Meadowdale Elementary School
  • Rosa Parks Preschool
  • Wogaman Middle School
  • Dayton Boys Preparatory Academy
  • Innovative Learning Academy
  • Westwood Elementary School
  • World of Wonder Elementary School
  • Edwin Joel Brown Middle School

Foward says community input is key in solving this problem.

“What we want to do is have a good solid plan,” Foward said. “From the business community and from the overall community.”

Foward says he plans to take the feedback received Tuesday night and formulate a plan to present to the district in the next few months.

 

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