DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Low enrollment at several Dayton schools could force some to close later this year. Thursday night, parents organized their own meeting to voice concerns about the issue.
In December, Dayton Public Schools identified 9 schools with enrollment at less than 45 percent. Some of those schools could soon close, but before that happens parents say they want their voices heard.
DPS parents voiced concern Thursday night at Body of Christ Church in Dayton.
“Parents need to have,” DPS parent Janine Jenista said. “Their voices heard.”
“We are here to save our schools,” DPS parent Cameron Walker said. “We are here to save our community.”
Walker–a parent of a freshman in Dayton Public Schools–organized Thursday night’s meeting.
“This meeting is critical,” Walker said. “For our community and our parents.”
The meeting is in response to the district’s decision not to include any parents on the task force formed to help ‘right-size’ the school district.
“If you’re going to create a task force,” Jenista said. “That is going to make such big recommendations to the district–even though they are not the deciding body–you’ve got to have representation from the parents.”
2 NEWS reached out to the district for comment on Thursday night’s meeting, but have not heard back.
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
Thursday night, parents spoke up, worried about how the schools closing will impact busing, class-size and the overall quality of their child’s education.
“We’re really trying to empower our parents to be more of a present voice,” Walker said. “And to have their voices heard and also be able to participate in the educational process of their children.”
Parents will get the chance to be heard next month. A public forum initially set for March has been moved up to February. A date and time has yet to be announced.