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School closings

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Has Naranja Elementary been closed without replacement? (3/3/08)

Save Emerson blog

Contents of this page

Upcoming action
List of proposed school closings
Parent(s) comments
Links and media coverage


An anonymous user has posted a narrative about events regarding parents at the January School Board meeting. Please email your recollection of these events so that we can confirm the accuracy of story. Thank you.

Upcoming action

Save Emerson blog

Previous action
We will be doing another rally in front of the school [Emerson Elementary] on Tuesday, the 15th right when the kids get released at 11:45 a.m. Please, pass the word around.
Ana Felipe

List of proposed school closings

This is the list of proposed schools that are to be closed down by the Superintendent of Miami Dade Public Schools
  • Dunbar Elementary
  • Golden Glades Elementary
  • Liberty City Elementary
  • Naranja Elementary
  • Pine Villa Elementary
  • Emerson Elementary
  • Mays Middle School
  • Parkway Middle School

Letter from Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez to Dr. Rudolph Crew 1/11/08

Letter from Sen. Javier D. Souto

The Honorable Rudolph Crew January 7, 2008
Superintendent Miami Dade County Public Schools
1450 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132

Dear Superintendent Crew,

I have been contacted by many parents who have school children attending Emerson Elementary School concerning the plans to close down this school for the next school year and relocate these students to Banyan Elementary School.

I understand that Miami Dade Public Schools, like Miami Dade County, is facing some difficult budget decisions as a result of budget cuts by the Florida Legislature. I understand that Emerson Elementary has a capacity of 600 students, while it currently has 394 enrolled students and that Banyan Elementary School has a capacity of 740 students, while it currently has 360 enrolled students, so merging the students at once facility (Banyan Elementary) will allow Miami Dade Public Schools to save operational costs by reducing administrative costs.

However, both Emerson Elementary and Banyan Elementary Schools are very high performing schools. This merger could adversely impact the education of the students and the academic performance of both schools. The policy of increasing enrollment at schools with under-enrollment in order to save money, must be balanced with the policy to maximize the number of good schools, which are performing at high academic standards. I could understand the logic of closing down schools that are performing at an “F” or “D” level and transferring those students to some of your schools with enrollment capacity that are performing at “A” or “B” levels in order to afford those students with an opportunity at a better education. You would provide students at “F” schools with an opportunity to enjoy the teaching resources and teaching facilities at a higher performing “A” or “B” school. However, this is not the case with Emerson or Banyan Elementary, which are both performing at high academic standards. The significant increase in student population at Banyan Elementary School will not only impact the students at Emerson who are being transferred from their current school, but may also negatively impact the students at Banyan, whose school will now be at double its current student population. Thus the academic performance for both student populations could suffer.

I respectfully ask that you reconsider the proposal to close down Emerson Elementary School and instead pursue an alternative facilities consolidation plan that will benefit students at poor performing schools, while preserving and rewarding high performing schools.

I thank you in advance for your kind consideration of my request on behalf of the residents of Westchester.


Sen. Javier D. Souto
County Commissioner District 10

Letter from Ana Felipe to elected representatives 1/11/08

Dear School Board Members/Government Officials:

I am one of the hundreds of parents opposing to the proposed closing of our "A" school, Emerson Elementary.

Please, do not divide our community, do not take our children apart from a school that has maintain a great level of Excellence during the past 7 years.

Us, parents and children, deserve to be rewarded for our excellent academic score and hard work put throughout the years to keep our school how it has been an "A" school. We have earned the "A"...don't take that away from us! Please!


Thanks for your close concern on this matter....and strongly await for your support to keep our school OPEN.


Ana Felipe

Letter to the Editor, Miami Herald

Marta Zayas

Closing Schools

The reason stated for closing some schools has been that they are under enrolled. Yet there are other schools in the District with lower enrollment numbers and they are not on “the list”.

The decision to place these schools on the list must have included other factors in addition to enrollment.

I am a teacher at Emerson Elementary. Emerson Elementary has been an “A” school for as long as I can remember. It seems to me that we are serving our community in an exemplary fashion. In addition, Emerson is a bilingual education school which serves a special and very populous role in this community.

John Schuster, from MDCPS, stated that it would be cost effective to close the school and repurpose the site for a Teacher Training Center, Special Education Center, or a Recreation Center. Online training is always more cost effective. Some of the schools that are below the enrollment of Emerson Elementary happen to be Special Education Centers. And I don’t understand what type of Recreation Center he would be referring to. In particular, I don’t understand what cannot be done in collaboration with Emerson Elementary School since it is currently in operation and has a long standing relationship with the community.

There is no other elementary school within walking distance from Emerson Elementary. If this school were to be closed, the students would have to be bused which would incur additional costs to MDCPS in addition to the cost of running whatever type of repurpose design the site would be stated for. I see no savings in that plan.

The best solution would be to open the boundary lines in order to allow more students to benefit from the World Class education Emerson Elementary has provided the community.

In addition, we should consider allowing parents the flexibility of hardship waivers. Many parents can no longer take their children to schools outside of their assigned boundary lines to schools that are either near their jobs or near their closest relatives. In case of emergencies, some parents cannot reach the school in time to pick up their child to resolve these emergencies.

Successful schools, like successful principals or teachers should not be shut down, but should be allowed to continue to provide benefits to the community.

Parents and members from the community have organized to keep this and other schools open. They have set up a petition online for those that are interested in signing the petition. They do not feel that schools should be closed in order to balance a budget.


Cc: Members of Community

Parent(s) Comments

My name is Ana Felipe and am one of the hundreds parents opposing the proposed closing of schools, especially, Emerson Elementary because of budget cuts or low enrollment.
I have personally emailed vaiours officials and appointed MDCPS board members to express our opposition and discontent about this absurd proposal. Everyone is claiming that is just a proposal....but it should not even be just that....a proposal!
We need for elected board members and higher officials to please oppose the closing of schools. This is something very wrong. A school should never be closed to re-adjust a budget, especially schools that have maintain "A" for years like Emerson. Is that our reward? What moral are we giving our kids?
Also, tax cut was never meant to hurt education. Mel Martinez promised that Education was never going to be hurt if there was a tax cut. Education is to stay away from this tax cut related issues. We pay very high taxes in our area to now be brought up with the "fear" that if tax is cut....kids loose their school. I mean what is that? Sorry, I am almost 40 years old and graduated with a Master in FIU and in my lifetime, I don't recall of hearing such a thing...never! Schools should close if of course they have a dangerous or hazardous environment, etc. Also, why is there a problem always with Dade county? Broward county has no budget cut, no issues with schools closing down...none of that? It is not a general "Florida Issue"...it is only a "Miami-Dade" county issue. Why is that....can someone explain?

We need your help and I know we can count on Educators, Tax Payers, Voting Citizens, Parents like you to make the difference and stop this non-sense proposals. A school should never be closed down for balancing a budget...that should never be an option nor a proposal. Even "D"s and "F"s schools, all, deserve a chance.....the chance to Education!

Best Regards.....and we count on you!

Ana Felipe


Save Emerson blog

El Nuevo Herald
Protestan por el posible cierre de escuela primaria Emerson

Miami Herald
MIAMI-DADE SCHOOL BOARD : Parents speak out against proposal to close schools - Parents from two elementary schools descended upon the Miami-Dade School Board to air concerns about school closings and student safety

Parents speak out against proposal to close schools

Petition against the closing of schools, cutting of teacher benefits