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Several Azusa schools to shutter over declining enrollment

CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Mar. 31 PM Edition) 02:37

The Azusa Unified School District this week confirmed the closure of several schools and a major reorganization as the district contends with declining enrollment numbers.

At a special meeting Tuesday night, the AUSD board voted to close both Alice Ellington K-8 School and Powell Elementary School following the 2022-23 school year.

The board had also previously decided to close Gladstone High School and Center, Slauson and Foothill middle schools following the 2022-23 school year as well.

Beginning next year, both Ellington and Powell will not accept any incoming kindergarten students, while Gladstone will not accept any incoming freshmen.

Meanwhile, all students from Center, Slauson and Foothill middle schools will be moved to the new Gladstone Middle School, located on the current campus of Gladstone High, which will open in 2023.

The district alleges the moves are necessary due to a steep drop in student numbers because of a declining birth rate and rising housing costs which have forced people to move out of state.

According to AUSD, between 2003-2004 and 2021-2022 school years, the district saw its student population decline by 42%, from over 12,100 students, to just over 7,000.

"Currently, we have 16 school sites for 7,084 students, meaning the number of students enrolled in AUSD schools fills only 47% of the capacity of our facilities," the district said in a news release Wednesday. "School reorganization will allow us to increase and improve program offerings for our students. Secondary students will have more course offerings and broader access to courses of interest. In addition, our sports teams and extracurricular activities will be more robust."

including a declining birth rate in the state and in the San Gabriel Valley and rising housing costs. Declining enrollment is a statewide issue.

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