The Baltimore city school system has recommended closing four more schools because of declining enrollment and poor academic performance.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the additional schools targeted for closure at the end of the academic year are
- Coldstream Park Elementary/Middle School
- Friendship Academy of Engineering and Technology
- Knowledge and Success Academy
- William Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle School
The four schools are in addition to two schools that have already been identified as closure targets—Rognel Heights Elementary/Middle School and Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson Elementary/Middle School.
The school board will vote on these recommendations Dec. 19, following a series of public meetings.
The board also is being asked to approve the reconfiguration of grade levels at several schools and to turn over some district-owned buildings to the city as part of an effort to reduce utility and maintenance costs.
The recommended closures come in the midst of a $1 billion initiative to replace Baltimore’s aging school infrastructure and build up to 28 new buildings.
“The most important thing is that we are ensuring our students have access to rigorous, robust programs in safe and healthy environments that promote success,” says Angela Alvarez, director of the district’s office of new initiatives.
Knowledge and Success Academy has long performed below district averages on state assessments, and enrollment has dropped by more than 100 students in the last five years, district officials say. Similar issues persist at Friendship Academy of Engineering and Technology.
“We have more middle grades and high school seats than we need in this part of the city,” Alvarez says.