The threat of snow Wednesday night didn’t keep people from heading to a meeting to voice criticisms and concerns to Colorado Springs School District 11 board members and administrators.
Most of the discussion focused on the closure of Wasson High School; a few people addressed proposed school boundary changes.
Parents and others blasted board members for the decision earlier this month to close Wasson and two elementary schools as part of a plan on school use.
They wanted to know what information was used to make the decision, and why additional options were not considered.
Others asked why the board wanted to stop Wasson’s successes.
Board member Bob Null again brought up questions about why Wasson was closed a year short of the five-year reprieve it was given in 2009.
Board member the Rev. Al Loma said he didn’t want to argue about it.
“This has been settled,” he said.
One parent asked board members and administrators to not participate in Wasson graduation ceremonies.
Parent Maureen Miller said Null — who cast the only vote against closing schools — was the only member who believed in the kids.
About 20 people attended the community engagement meeting Wednesday, as well as many D-11 staff members. Usually, the quarterly session draws 10 to 15 people, a D-11 spokeswoman said.
All board members except Sandra Mann were present at the informal session.
Public comments at board meetings are limited to three minutes and board members do not generally respond.
At the community engagement meeting, board members respond to questions and comments.
“Is closing schools really working?” one parent asked.
Board President Jan Tanner said the D-11 population will eventually settle.
“Our aim is not to keep closing schools,” she said.
Many at the meeting appeared unsatisfied or vocally disagreed with responses from board members and the superintendent.
Parents also asked where the Navy JROTC program would be moved after Wasson closes in May.
Superintendent Nicholas Gledich said he had not yet decided, but he is visiting all the high schools to find the best space.
About 140 students are part of the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Wasson. Tanner said the captain in charge of the program is looking to boost the number of students involved.
Some parents questioned if there would be enough room at Doherty or Palmer high schools for the program, which requires classroom and storage space.
“I don’t see how it’s even possible,” Miller said, adding that Doherty is known to be crowded.
Gledich said he will make a decision in the coming week.