New Davenport school suggestion aimed at increasing capacities in schools

DAVENPORT, Iowa - According to a spreadsheet from Davenport Community Schools, five schools in the district are currently under 60 percent capacity.

To combat this problem, a Vision 20/20 Plan work session on July 2 revisited a proposal to close Monroe Elementary. The Vision 20/20 Plan's goal is to save money and fill the schools.

In an email, Associate Superintendent Robert Scott said students from Monroe would attend the Smart Building from kindergarten through eighth grade. Smart is currently only an intermediate school, but it would be re-purposed to house elementary students as well.

This is the latest suggestion in a series of proposals from the school district. Other ideas include closing Buffalo, Buchanan, Adams or Washington elementary schools.

However, many parents of various school districts have voiced concerns over the proposed changes. 

Monday night, some school board members said they were concerned about sending kids too far away from their neighborhoods for school. However, the proposal is intended to better utilize Davenport's schools, and the district said it could save $800,000.

If these latest changes were to take effect, Jackson and Jefferson elementary school graduates would not go to Smart, but would instead start going to Walcott and Williams middle schools respectively.

Superintendent Art Tate said he would prepare more details for the board to consider at its meeting next week, including the additional costs for transporting some students to new middle schools.