Six Tucson schools could lose magnet status

Six Tucson schools could lose magnet status

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A federally appointed expert has recommended six schools in the Tucson Unified School District lose their magnet status.

The recommendation was made by Dr. Willis Hawley, the Special Master in the district's desegregation case.

The schools are listed below do not meet the requirement that no single ethnic group can make up more than 70 percent of the student body.

  • Cholla High Magnet School
  • Ochoa Community Magnet School
  • Pueblo Magnet High School
  • Robison Magnet Elementary School
  • Safford K-8 Magnet School
  • Utterback Middle Magnet School of the Arts

TUSD Superintendent Dr. H.T. Sanchez received the information late Monday afternoon and notified the principals of the six at-risk magnet schools.

He gave them the heads up to start planning a time to meet with parents and students to get their input on what to do if their school's magnet status gets dropped.

Tuesday, the TUSD board is expected to discuss this and decide if they agree with all, some, or none of the recommendations. It's possible they could also decide to ask for more time since a newly elected board member is not able to start until next year.

"So at this time, our message to our parents and our community is all of the schools, they're good schools, they have great teachers, they have a great faculty and they have so much to offer kids," said HT Sanchez, TUSD Superintendent. "The magnet status is historic and important. However, the principals and the staff, they're what makes the school a special place."

"There is a possibility that if a school does lose magnet status, that there are changes, there are consequences, such as transportation, as well as some extended programming," said Sanchez. "That's so far down the road, it's hard to say."

We could know as early as February if the listed magnet schools will lose their status, but it wouldn't be effective until the 2017-2018 school year.

The TUSD said open enrollment/school choice would start as scheduled on Tuesday, Nov. 15. District officials are asking parents to list an alternative No. 2 and No. 3 choice -- schools not on the list of six above -- if their No. 1 choice is one of the six at-risk magnet schools.

Nearly a year ago, eleven magnet schools were given time to meet integration goals. For more information, visit http://www.tusd1.org/contents/events_mag.html

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