These 7 Middle Schools in Fort Worth ISD May Close:What You Need to Know

Written on 04/20/2024
Asia91 Team


Plans are still in the developmental stages, but residents of the Fort Worth Independent School District are starting to see what school consolidation might mean for their community. Over the past two weeks, the district has hosted community listening sessions to discuss the potential consolidation of seven middle schools, part of a broader facilities study that could lead to school closures.

Key Details:

  • Community Feedback: These sessions have sometimes been contentious, with complaints about insufficient communication from district leaders. However, officials stress that no final decisions have been made and are encouraging community input through their website.

 

  • Consolidation Plans: The schools being considered for consolidation are McLean 6th Grade, McLean Middle School, Daggett Middle School, J.P. Elder Middle School, Kirkpatrick Middle School, William James Middle School, and Morningside Middle School. Preliminary plans include merging McLean 6th Grade, McLean Middle School, and Daggett Middle School near Paschal High School into one campus, combining J.P. Elder and Kirkpatrick middle schools near North Side High School, and uniting William James and Morningside middle schools near Polytechnic High School.

 

  • Financial Shifts: These schools were all slated for upgrades under a $1.2 billion bond passed in November 2021. Now, funds may be redirected to building new, consolidated campuses. A formal proposal will be presented to the school board on May 28.

 

  • Broader Study: The district is conducting a $2 million study to assess capacity and make "rightsizing recommendations," prompted by a 17% drop in enrollment since 2016, influenced by factors like competition from charter schools, declining birth rates, and changing housing patterns.

 

During one session at Morningside Middle School, Reverend Kyev Tatum expressed strong opposition, likening the consolidation to past desegregation busing, which he described as traumatic.

He advocated for a neighborhood oversight committee to ensure community involvement. Another concern raised in sessions was the need for better communication with parents about these critical decisions, as some were unaware the meetings were taking place.

The Fort Worth ISD’s consideration of middle school consolidations is a significant move, influenced by financial realities and demographic shifts. While the district aims to be transparent and responsive, the unfolding discussions highlight the community’s desire for more engagement and clearer information as they navigate the potential changes to their local education landscape.

 

The final listening session at J.P. Elder Middle School has yet to be scheduled, offering one more opportunity for public input before decisions are made.


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