Parents, community fight to keep Norman Elementary open

Parents and community members gather to ask Austin ISD to not close Norman Elementary School, on Jan. 22, 2018 (KXAN Photo)
Parents and community members gather to ask Austin ISD to not close Norman Elementary School, on Jan. 22, 2018 (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Norman Elementary School has an uncertain future amid changes and renovations within Austin ISD, but parents and the community arrived at Monday’s board meeting to offer their take: it should remain open.

Parents, neighbors and members of a nearby church showed up, some with signs, concerned the school at 4001 Tannehill Lane in east Austin would be shut down.

“Instead of closing or privatizing schools, we need to look at community school models that have been successful in other larger cities,” said Jim Harrington, who works at a church a block from Norman Elementary. He said the campuses are community neighborhood schools and should both be modernized.

AISD is looking at a number of options, including merging Norman Elementary School and Sims Elementary School, which is about a mile away on Springdale Road. In that scenario, one of the schools would be rebuilt and the other would close. In June 2017, a document sent to the school board listed Norman Elementary among six schools that could be sold to offset Austin ISD’s $1 billion bond.

Voters approved that bond in November, and the district plans to use the money to remodel current schools as well as build new ones.

Norman Elementary School (KXAN Photo)
Norman Elementary School (KXAN Photo)

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