NUSD Will Close Leroy F. Greene Middle School

Natomas Unified School District officials tonight unanimously voted to close Leroy F. Greene Middle School for two years.

The decision followed a vote to convert all district K-5 schools to K-6 campuses and effectively puts to rest talk of closing an elementary school this year.

“We are trying to keep education a priority in the district,” school board president B. Teri Burns said after the special board meeting.

The K-6 plan is meant to bolster the district’s coffers impacted by the exodus of 6th-grade students each year to area charter schools. Closing Leroy F. Greene Middle School and relocating its 7th and 8th grade students to Natomas Middle School is also expected to save the district some money. 

Officials say both decisions will have positive impacts on academics districtwide, pointing to scores which show 6th graders perform better on standardized tests at Heron K-8 School, and saying closure of the under-performing middle school will allow them to restructure its academic program.

The district expects the change to K-6 campuses will generate $250,000 in average daily attendance revenue during the 2010-11 school year. The middle school closure is expected to save the district an estimated $262,000 over two years. The district still must cut $6 million from its budget over the next three years to comply with state education code.

Natomas officials first considered closing schools last summer in response to massive budget cuts at the state level. They voted to close one elementary school in 2010-11 and a second in 2011-12, embarking on a months-long process to evaluate and rank campuses based on a variety of criteria. The proposed elementary school closures were estimated to save the district between $300,000 to $400,000 per site, per year.
The proposal to not close an elementary school and instead reconfigure all Natomas K-5 campuses as well as close Leroy F. Greene Middle School for two years was recommended to the school district board of trustees last month by interim superintendent Dr. General Davie.
Comments made by some teachers at tonight’s meeting questioned the proposal’s monetary savings and criticized the district for not supporting program improvement efforts at Leroy F. Greene Middle School. Several parents and students spoke both for and against the plan.

After more than an hour of public comment, the school board’s vote was swift.

“It is not that we are not hearing you, but our budgets are being stretched thin and we cannot do what we want to do,” Burns said. “The students will adjust (to the changes) if the adults decide they want this to work.”


  1. What happens if the district doesn’t comply with the state education code? For some reason I thought some rules were already being broken (not by the district) for not funding education to certain standards or requirements. Trixie

  2. Anonymous says

    The board got this one right. Closing LFG was the best choice to be made from a slate of unpopular, unfortunate options. The net savings in terms of operating expenses is lower than if an elementary school were closed, but the school district will likely retain more of the 31% of students who leave the district after 5th grade now that they can stay at their elementary school, which will (IMO) more than make up the difference during to increased ADA (average daily attendance).

    I like the idea of creating magnet schools, district-run charter schools, etc. Parents obviously want more choices and it would be smart for the district to provide those choices or face continued flight by students after elementary school.

    This school district has made some seriously boneheaded moves (lack of oversight in the Frank Harding affair, the Westlakeside rube-fest, not immediately getting on the LFG problem in the initial stages of program improvement, etc.) in the past few years. I hope we get a sharp superintendent this time — or that General Davie decides to stick around.

  3. LG should have closed years ago. In the future, if another school has to close, I hope the district does it more quickly. The lag time between announcement and official decision only contributed to the exodus of talented students whose parents could not risk being without a school. Many private schools had admission deadlines during that period, further pressuring parents to not wait around for the district to make up its mind.

  4. Anonymous says

    So, as long as YOUR elementary school doesn’t close, any other decision is okay with you????? What a shame to treat middle school students this way. Our kids deserve better. The problem with all of the above is that we aren’t looking at the global students population, only our own personal situation. Pretty small minded if you ask me.

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