OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — The Oceanside Unified School District is considering merging elementary schools in the area, one of which is Del Rio Elementary School. Parents in the area said they have one of the district's better facilities, and changing schools will make it much harder for families in the area to change schools.
"We're going to fight for our school either way," Julia Sanchez, Parent Teacher Organization President, said. "Our kids travel more by feet to school, so they're going to have to travel even farther away."
Parents and students stood outside of Del Rio Elementary after learning that their school could be gone next year. According to the Oceanside Unified School District website:
"Enrollment in schools across California and in the Oceanside Unified School District has been on the decline in recent years. Some reasons for this decline include the high cost of living in coastal communities, fewer children being born, and more people staying in their homes longer. This has put the Board of Education in a position to make tough decisions to maximize resources through consolidations of facilities. Over the last ten years, board members have been tasked with the difficult decision of school consolidation, and this challenging work continues. It's important to know that consolidating schools will not increase class sizes, and staff members will not lose their jobs."
If the consolidation were to happen, students at Del Rio Elementary School would attend Libby Elementary, which is about a mile away. While the Surfside Campus, which is made up of virtual and hybrid students, will move to the Del Rio campus.
Parents said the decision to consolidate schools has been going on for months now. But many were just notified this week.
"We've been here for a very long time. I came here when I was a kid, my siblings came here, and now my kids go here. I'm PTO president, PTO here. All of our children go here," Sanchez said. "We all came to school together; we're all trying to fight for our school because, like I said, we have great teachers, awesome staff, awesome principal and our kids are all friends."
The board of education will hold a virtual meeting on Oct. 27, where parents will have an opportunity to weigh in. The vote to consolidate the schools is scheduled for Nov. 2.
Parents said they plan to protest at the district's office Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 9:30 a.m.