AUSTIN, Texas - Parents, teachers and AISD faculty and staff members sat in a circle inside Webb Middle School's cafeteria discussing the school's possible closure. 12 schools are drafted to close and the district is looking at moving more than 600 students from Webb to Dobie, about three miles away.
"Of course we are not okay with it, we are not okay with them closing Webb, we've been here for such a long time, kids like it, it's not just the school, there's a lot of community outreach programs here," Blanca Garcia, an AISD parent said. “This is something the community needs to be involved with from the beginning, not at the end, not when they are wanting to make a vote.”
Garcia is urging the district to keep Webb Middle School’s doors open, fearing her son may be lost in a larger school and Webb Middle School’s community will be lost as well.
During the meeting, members of the district apologized for the lack of communication.
"We did not do a good job communicating this to our communities and we are very, very sorry for the hurt that we caused," AISD Operations Officer Matias Segura said.
Senior Communications Specialist Cristina Nguyen said the district weighed a variety of factors when drafting the plan and want parents to have a seat at the table. AISD is utilizing the daily community school meetings to gather input from families.
"We are coming into our communities to really have solution based discussions with our families,” Nguyen said. “We understand when we talk about school closures it is an emotional difficult conversation but we are here to say if we do have to close a school, what do you need in your community?"
Ngyuen said nothing is set in stone, but she hopes with community input the district may be able to move forward and provide more for its students.
The district is also accepting feedback online for those who cannot attend any of the scheduled meetings.