Parents and students campaign to keep charter school open

April 9, 2012 10:49:34 AM PDT
Parents and students from Kaleidoscope Charter Middle School will deliver a letter to the Houston Independent School District to demand the school continue educating as it is after this summer.

This is only the first visit parents and students will pay to HISD members during the week.

On March 29, the principals of Kaleidoscope and Jane Long Middle School invited the parents to a meeting where they announced the closing of Kaleidoscope and its merger with Jane Long for Fall 2012.

Most attending parents complained, but the process for a final decision is still in progress. HISD's board will decide on Thursday at 5pm.

Parents, students, teachers and community members are upset because HISD did not seem to provide space for them to offer input on the idea of the school closing. They say they do not understand why Kaleidoscope would close down when it is one of two out of 45 HISD middle schools that has Exemplary standing.

Moreover, parents and students are worried because neighboring Jane Long is a school they claim has gone through much neglect by the school system.

They feel that Kaleidoscope has been neglected as well. For the past seven years, students have been housed in temporary buildings behind Jane Long Middle School, and classes were previously located in an apartment complex in the Gulfton community.

Mercedes Herrera is a community organizer with Mi Familia Vota, a Gulfton resident and parent of a Jane Long student. She says the conversation should be about how to invest in Jane Long to level it out with Kaleidoscope

"It should be about how to make Jane Long a secure and conducive environment to students' growth and development ... It should be about how to facilitate these youth to work together for self-empowerment. We should not be talking about closing a good project for minority students. We should not be talking about overcrowding an already problematic school. We should not be talking about narrowing the options for students in this area," Herrera said. "The Gulfton community needs and deserves free, quality education."


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