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Longfellow Elementary parents react to KCPS Blueprint 2030 plan

Longfellow Elementary parents react to KCPS Blueprint 2030
Posted at 10:38 PM, Oct 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 23:38:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Public Schools district continues talking about its Blueprint 2030 plan, and is looking for community feedback.

On Monday, parents had their chance at the podium at Longfellow Elementary.

KCPS says the school was recommended for closure because of low test scores and attendance, and high maintenance costs.

“I just wonder where my son is going to school next year,” said Luke Bauer, whose children attend Longfellow Elementary said.

Some showed up to the school district’s meeting at Longfellow Elementary to get their questions in and give feedback.

“We’re right here in the heart of the community,” said Arlene Byrd, a Longfellow parent.

Bauer weighed in on the importance of the school to the surrounding community.

“This is a local neighborhood school, and so we drop our kid off here every morning,” Bauer said. “We get to see lots of families walking here.”

Many would like to see a local option remain instead of traveling north three miles to Garcia Elementary, or six miles south to Hale Cook Elementary.

“This is his first year — he’s had a great year, to see him come home with a big smile on his face and say that he’s learning,” Bauer said. “There’s a lot of families that this impacts.”

Byrd said there's a lot to consider before a decision is made.

“It’s a lot of nuances that I don’t know if the district is considering,” she said. "As well as breaking up that community aspect. The community in Kansas City, especially with the east and west side, to me has been strained. I was been born and raised here as well as my husband. Seeing this beautiful community of the Longfellow neighborhood being broken up is concerning.”

At the meeting, class sizes, parent transportation, school bus routes and what will happen to the building we're all brought up.

It's something the district said it's keeping in mind.

“Neighbors and people in the community don’t want to have a blighted building,” said Elle Moxley, KCPS Public Relations Manager.

This school is set to be repurposed. The district said someone would bring in an idea, and the community would be consulted before a decision is made.

Some possibilities include senior living apartments and community gardens.

KCPS said it has repurposed 22 out of 30 schools. A lot of this plan is contingent on a bond passing, which has yet to be proposed.