New KCPS plan calls for 2 school closures instead of 10

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 10:23 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The KCPS interim superintendent is recommending only two schools be closed under the Blueprint 2030 plan.

There were definitely quite a few smiles in the crowd after the recommendation of two school closures instead of 10 was made. But, at the same time, there is still concern for the two schools that will possibly be closed.

The original Blueprint 2030 plan consisted of closing eight metro elementary schools and two high schools.

Due to the community’s outpouring of concern, however, the interim superintendent is now recommending the closure of only two schools: Troost Elementary and Longfellow Elementary.

The purpose of the plan is to address a major decline in enrollment.

In the case of Longfellow Elementary, one of the other major concerns is safety. Just last year, the building had to be evacuated for a carbon monoxide leak.

“I think that, right now, that’s the right decision to make and I don’t necessarily want to gamble with the safety of the students and staff,” said KCPS Interim Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier. “I want to ensure it is a safe environment.”

If the board votes to approve the recommendations, the district plans to work with parents, students and staff impacted by the change.

John Fierro, the president and CEO of the Mattie Rhodes center, said it was just a few years ago that he was part of the KCPS board. He said he commends the interim superintendent for decreasing the amount of schools to be closed down.

“The common theme at the neighborhood meetings that I attended: The community did not support the closure of 10 schools,” Fierro said. “I think it took a lot of courage by this board and superintendent to say, ‘Yeah, this is not the right time. Let’s move back 10 steps.”

The plan is not final; it’s only a recommendation. The board will vote on it Jan. 25.