At Long View Alternative High School in Lakewood, being one of the smallest public schools in the metro area can have its advantages.
“We have 60 kids. We have four very dedicated teachers,” said 20-year Long View High School employee Timothy Irvin, “They are the kids that don’t fit in well with the mega school 2,000 students. They’re the ones the kind of get lost in the cracks.”
And getting lost is what has staff and students at this high school concerned. The school has been around for over 20 years, serving at-risk youth who don’t cope well in larger schools.
Irvin said, “They just do not get along well in big schools.”
The school was told last week that their student body would be relocating to nearby McClain Community High School that has an enrollment of about 400 students.
“Yesterday we met with a school board member over at the board of education and kids were in tears at the thought of being moved away,” said Irvin.
The Jefferson County School District released this statement about the move:
“As part of the ongoing effort to maximize our limited resources for maintaining facilities, in conjunction with providing the best possible learning environments for students and staff, the facilities planning process included relocating the Long View classrooms for the 2017-18 school year.”
The district says in an effort to reduce cost, the 50-year-old temporary building has exceeded its life cycle. They go on to say programs and curriculum offered at Long View are not being discontinued and the current staff will remain intact.
“I think it is an awful idea,” Irvin said, “we’re putting them right back in the middle of the same thing that they fled from.”
An idea that has this long time employee concerned and fighting for their advantage of being small.
Irvin said, “they love their little spot and they do well…they prosper.”
The district says the move will accomplish cost reduction in facilities and improve the quality of the learning environment.
They go on to say existing buildings that become empty because of this move will be demolished.