The Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) will close three schools in the 2022-23 school year because of dwindling enrollment and the failure to pass a spring parcel tax designed to prevent such a closure.
On Thursday, Oct. 14, the CUSD Board of Trustees voted 3-2 to approve plans to close Regnart Elementary School and the Meyerholz School site. The district will also relocate Muir Elementary, but the site will remain open to bilingual programs.
Will Xia is the father of a first-grader and third-grader at Meyerholz Elementary. He was one of the parents who organized protests and rallies leading up to the school board’s vote. Xia says the vote is disheartening.
“It’s just in general, a very big impact to the community, parents and kids. We would need some time to recover and regain our strength,” said Xia.
Xia is one of hundreds of concerned parents that attended the virtual school board meeting on Oct. 14. Dozens of those parents expressed their concerns during the meeting’s public comment period.
District Superintendent Stacy Yao understands the parents’ frustration.
“I know that the decision to close schools has been difficult for our community, and I am so grateful we have parents that care so deeply for their schools and teachers,” said Yao in a statement released by the district. “We will continue to engage all of our community to ensure the closures maintain the relationships and bonds that our families have developed.”
CUSD has talked about potential closures for several years.
In an interview with The Silicon Valley Voice last year, Yao explained that district enrollment has declined year over year. She said the district completed several rounds of layoffs and staff and there simply wasn’t anything more to cut.
Yao was hopeful Measure A would pass in spring 2021. However, voters rejected Measure A, leaving CUSD with no other options.
The closures could have other consequences.
“I think me, personally, my family [are] disappointed about the values that the school district values. [They seem] to be not aligning with what do we value,” said Xia. “We are looking at moving to private schools instead of CUSD schools.”
The school board meeting went into the early hours of Friday morning before it adjourned. The Board of Trustees voted on six recommendations.
- Trustees decided to continue to monitor the enrollment at middle schools through the 2025-26 school year. If enrollment at any of the district’s middle schools falls below 700, the district could consider closure.
- The district will consolidate Muir Elementary School in the 2022-23 school year. Current students may choose to attend Dilworth or Blue Hills. Muir YCC and Muir Cuperdoodle programs will stay on campus.
- The district will relocate the Cupertino Language Immersion Program (CLIP) to Muir school site.
- The district will close Regnart Elementary in 2022-23. Students may choose to attend Lincoln or Blue Hills.
- The district will close Meyerholz in 2022-23. Students will attend Dilworth, or parents may choose Eaton or Blue Hills.
- Alternative school programs (CLIP, Faria, McAuliffe and Murdock-Portal) will have no more than four kindergarten classes.
The district says it will lease the closed school sites. It will not sell them.