Today is the last day for 21 schools in the Kansas City, Mo. school district. The buildings are part of the group of 24 schools the 17,000-student system is closing in a bid by Superintendent John W. Covington to right-size the district and transform its academics and operations.
The schools were selected not just based on academic performance, but also on a need to close a budget deficit, as I reported earlier this year.
While many of the schools are aging—one is 101 years old—the Kansas City Star‘s Joe Robertson reports that the community is struggling to grapple with the closures, with many returning to buildings they left decades ago for one last glance.
One group returned to McCoy Elementary School 53 years later to see it one last time. The Star described the visit:
The Thompkins twins—Darlene and Marlene—remembered standing in that very same hallway more than 50 years ago, getting their first polio shots. Darlene fainting at the sight of the seemingly giant needle. Linda Jolly, who became a teacher and school counselor, came all the way from the St. Louis area because she'd heard that her favorite teacher, Mr. Miner, was supposed to be there. And she was hardly alone in those feelings. "He's up in the auditorium," someone announced over one of the crowded cafeteria tables. And up they sprang.
The schools have been making the most of their endings, such as the city’s Southeast High School, which graduated all of its remaining students, as I told you last week.
Speaking of endings, today is also the last day of the year for Utah’s brand-new Canyons School District. I told you the story of their first year in a recent issue of Education Week.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.