Cupertino

Cupertino Union School Board Approves Campus Closures, Consolidations

NBC Universal, Inc. The Cupertino Union School District board on Thursday was faced with deciding which schools will be closed or consolidated. Robert Handa reports.

The Cupertino Union School District board early Friday morning approved the closure of two elementary schools and the consolidation of a third campus due to declining enrollment.

After months of evaluation, school district staff last month recommended closing Meyerholz and Regnart elementary schools and consolidating Muir Elementary effective for the 2022-23 school year, and the board voted in favor of each of those recommendations.

Thursday night's board meeting extended into the wee hours of Friday morning before a vote was taken.

In the consolidation recommendation, Muir students would join Dilworth Elementary School and have priority enrollment to Blue Hills Elementary School. The board also passed the recommendation for relocating the CLIP program to Muir Elementary School effective 2022-23.

Parents foought the decision amidst a flood of emotions.

"It really tears the community apart," Regnart PTA co-President Eunice Peng said. "You can’t put a number value on this community that’s been built and that is here. We just feel so devastated."

The district pointed out it has lost 5,000 students since 2015 and expects to see enrollment drop another 4,000 students over the next eight years.

Officials said they understand why people are surprised since Cupertino was long known as a district people moved to get into. The schools are still great, but the cost of living in the area is not.

"We’re seeing it across the Bay Area – the price of homes, empty nesters staying in their homes for longer, lack of affordable housing," Cupertino Union School District Communications Director Erin Lindsey said.

Parents said in the midst of the pandemic is not the time to decide. They insist many families switched to private schools due to the pandemic but will return.

"So, for future financial stability, yes, we understand that it would make sense to close schools," Peng said. "But there is no pressing, current need, and so we would hope that in this year we can stabilize numbers, we can wait until we’re no longer in a pandemic."