Phila. parents vow to fight school closure

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - November 3, 2011

The E. M. Stanton Elementary School is one of nine recommended for closure as the District tries to realign schools in the face of a budget gap, falling enrollment, and aging facilities throughout the city.

"I was thinking we were in the clear," parent and Stanton alumna Chudley Thompson told Action News. "We have a new principal this year, academically we're on the ball. Really upset about it, but hopefully it works out for the best."

"Of course we're saddened," said Stanton principal Stacey Burnley. "But it's just a proposal. The school district has done a lot of research and is still in the midst of gathering information from other stakeholders."

Stanton was built in 1925. Roughly 250 students from kindergarten through 8th grade attend. If the school does close, students would be offered two reassignment options.

We spoke with a student teacher from Temple University who works in the 6th grade classroom. She says she chose this school because not only do the children get the best education, but so does she.

"It's really heartbreaking because they've done nothing wrong," said student teacher Samantha Hakes. "They've done everything right. There are schools that are failing these kids are so smart. Many of my kids place proficient and above. Way above."

Community meetings will be held over the next several months to discuss and review the proposed changes. Students plan to do their part.

"We have to talk about not closing our school," said first grader Mariah Waters. "How are you going to do that? We have to yell, 'Don't!'"

Parents at Stanton say they will definitely be attending the community meetings when they are scheduled by the school district.

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