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REYNOLDS ELEMENTARY CLOSED;

Leaving students, teachers and parents scrambling...

Here's the Scoop...

April 3, 2023 

The "Reynolds Raccoons" are no more. Their School has closed and their mascot ceases to be. Now all 590 students their teachers and administration must find a new home-  All thanks to the Oceanside School Board.

 

On March 13, 2023 the Oceanside School Board made a sweeping decision to shut down Reynolds Elementary School, a local institution that’s served O’side kids for over 37 years. Such an extreme action would have been warranted had the survey of the property indicated the site was a liability.  It did not.  

 

But let’s start at the beginning: Back in September of 2021, because of a decline in school enrollments, the Oceanside school district called for cuts.  Through “asset management” they hoped to close and sell off schools in order to balance the budget. Two proposals were presented. On the chopping block: Surfside Academy and Reynolds elementary. Both proposals were rejected following parent backlash and the Raccoons breathed a little easier.

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Come May 2022 a geotechnical survey was commissioned on behalf of Reynold’s Elementary in order to determine the feasibility of constructing a 2 story structure to replace their existing facilities.  On March 10, 2023, results of the survey were published. A “team of engineers examined the existing buildings and determined they are structurally safe but do not meet current code standards.”     

Keep in mind, Reynolds Elementary was built in 1986. Clearly construction standards have changed since then. As long as the structure presents no danger to kids, the next logical step would be to identify the modifications needed to get up to code and determine costs.

Instead, 3 days after the geological survey was released, the school board lowered the boom: NO SCHOOL FOR YOU!  Absent a presentation or any discussion, the board voted 3-1-1 to shut down Reynolds Elementary permanently and sell off the land.

 

Their justification? “There is no fix that guarantees the safety of students.”  Not only is this a gross mischaracterization of the Report, it’s pretty rich coming from educators with no engineering backgrounds.

 

Additionally, why on earth would a school slated for closure be encouraged to commission a costly geographical survey? Closing down the school with no investigation into alternative options is extreme and begs the question:  Who benefits?  Certainly not the students or parents scrambling for education alternatives. Certainly not the teachers who will be transferred and stand to lose their seniority.

 

Clearly, the proceeds for the sale of the Reynolds School property will benefit  teachers’ unions and administrators who are struggling with a budget deficit.  Sorry Reynolds Racoons, boasting the top third of test scores wasn’t enough. Thanks to the Oceanside Unified School Board, you’re road kill.

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