Yuma District One School Board votes to close Ham Elementary

Yuma District One School Board votes to close Ham Elementary

Yuma, Arizona November 14, 2011 - Parents like Shawn Doerr worry about Gwyneth Ham Elementary closing.  Doerr worries about the traffic.

"Arizona Avenue is a busy street.  I know they have cross walks and guards there and all that," said Doerr, who has a 2nd grader at Ham.  "But you have Arizona and 24th Street.  And if you have 400 to 600 more kids there, there's going to be that much more problems that can happen."

Parents say the overcrowding at Rolle and McGraw Elementary Schools will get worse.  They made their last-ditch pitch to the District One Governing School Board before they voted on the closure.

"In order to see real savings for the school district, every single dime we have go to teach our children and pay teachers," said one concerned mother.

"My children are very smart children, they're wise children and I love them, but I'm concerned about the children that I go and read with in 3rd grade that aren't meeting the standards they need to," said concerned parent Laura Smith.  "Kindergarten:  how can you read with a child when their class size is at 32?"

"I did my research and I visited McGraw last year, but the reason why they had empty classrooms is because now the Kindergarten classes are now at 27, 28, whatever the estimated rate is," said a concerned parent of a McGraw Kindergartner.

Governing board members made their decision to close Ham Elementary.  The Board voted 5-0 to close Ham at the end of the school year.  They also voted to have Ham students within walking distance to attend McGraw Elementary.  Ham students who live in the Ocotillo subdivision will be bussed to Rolle Elementary.

"I'm not happy to be sitting here to make this decision to do this discussion.  It pains me.  I know people are going to be hurt," said Board Member Karen Griffin.

"I live out in the Foothills.  When I got here, you had two school buses a day that they waited on," said Board Member and Clerk Joseph Melchionne.  "Now, it's six, seven or eight out there all the time.  That's not just counting ours, but Carpe Diem has their school busses.  This is where we're moving.  Sooner or later, we're going to need one in the east end."

Two parents told KSWT News 13 they're pulling their kids out of Yuma School District One.  Eliana Osborn and Lara Smith, who have children at Rolle Elementary have lost confidence in the Governing School Board and the school administration.

"I don't trust where they're headed.  I don't think they have our students' best interest at heart," said Osborn.  "This morning, I signed papers to take my son out of Rolle and he'll be attending a school in the Crane School District that has 20 Kindergartners instead of 32 in a classroom.  It's a big decision.  I am a public school teacher and I'm not happy to abandon my public school, but there are simply too many kids and nobody at District One seems to have any solutions."

"They don't look at any other options," says Smith, who has attended every Board meeting and school meeting regarding the Ham School closure. "We already share transportation with the other school districts like high school districts and the San Luis District and we're saving money there.  They keep saying we're saving. We look at Crane District and they have their own transportation.  They have grants for gifted programs.  They have options of half-day Kindergarten.  They have more options and supposedly they're running themselves.  We keep cutting back.  We cut back buildings, we cut back transportation.  We keep cutting and cutting, but I don't see anything going towards the children."

 

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. Agrees to Accept up to $100 Million Additional Financing from Arizona Alternative Energy Center, LLC for San Luis, Arizona Tower

    Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. Agrees to Accept up to $100 Million Additional Financing from Arizona Alternative Energy Center, LLC for San Luis, Arizona Tower

    ANNAPOLIS, MD / ACCESSWIRE / July 14, 2014 / Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. (OTCQB: SWET), (the “Company”), the inventor of large Solar Wind Downdraft Tower structures capable of producing abundant,...More >>
    ANNAPOLIS, MD / ACCESSWIRE / July 14, 2014 / Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. (OTCQB: SWET), (the “Company”), the inventor of large Solar Wind Downdraft Tower structures capable of producing abundant, inexpensive...More >>
  • Professor charged with taping students in bathroom

    Professor charged with taping students in bathroom

    An accounting professor with secretly taping students in his San Francisco apartment's bathroom.More >>
    An accounting professor with secretly taping students in his San Francisco apartment's bathroom.More >>
  • Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Father beats accused child abuser, Daytona police say

    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
    Police say a Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his son. Authorities say the father called 911 early Friday after he walked in on the alleged abuse.Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth. Police said the father -- who was not identified -- told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy. Police did not release the boy's age, but Frolander is charge...More >>
  • Drought starting to kill salmon in Klamath Basin

    Drought starting to kill salmon in Klamath Basin

    Low warm water conditions from the drought are starting to kill salmon in Northern California's Klamath Basin - the site of a massive fish kill in 2002.More >>
    Low warm water conditions from the drought are starting to kill salmon in Northern California's Klamath Basin - the site of a massive fish kill in 2002.More >>
  • Mom accused of leaving kids in car ordered held

    Mom accused of leaving kids in car ordered held

    A mother charged with leaving two toddlers in a car while she gambled at a Northern California casino has been ordered held by a judge who deemed her a flight risk.More >>
    A mother charged with leaving two toddlers in a car while she gambled at a Northern California casino has been ordered held by a judge who deemed her a flight risk.More >>
  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    Coming soon...Wal-Mart

    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
    On Wednesday the Yuma City Council voted to change the zoning designation on the proposed land acquired by Wal-Mart. The property located near the intersection of Avenue B and 8th Street was the home of a mobile home park as zones for residential use; the new designation changes that to mixed which will allow the new store to move in to the property. The new store will be the fifth Wal-Mart for Yuma County.More >>
  • Latest polls show Ducey and Jones neck and neck for Republican slot

    Latest polls show Ducey and Jones neck and neck for Republican slot

    According to the latest poll from Veterans for a Strong America Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey leads the pack at 23 percent, he's being followed closely by former Counsel for GoDaddy Christine Jones who received 21 percent of the poll. The poll listed 22 percent of participants as undecided. According to the same poll the biggest issues concerning the state were listed as healthcare and education. Another poll conducted in late June by Harper Polling showed Ducey as the favorite at 33 percent a...More >>
    According to the latest poll from Veterans for a Strong America Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey leads the pack at 23 percent, he's being followed closely by former Counsel for GoDaddy Christine Jones who received 21 percent of the poll. The poll listed 22 percent of participants as undecided. According to the same poll the biggest issues concerning the state were listed as healthcare and education. Another poll conducted in late June by Harper Polling showed Ducey as the favorite at 33 percent a...More >>