Parents, teachers and Lykins Neighborhood residents have just left Whittier Elementary School on a school bus, bound for tonight’s KCPS School Board meeting  to formally protest the district’s blueprint 2030 plan which closes three schools in the historic Northeast community, Whittier being one of those schools.

Whittier has one of the highest APR’s in the district coming in right ahead of James Elementary School which interestingly is also on the district’s chopping block.

Edgar Palacios, founder of Revolución Educativa, and the LatinX Education Collaborative headquartered in the Pendleton Heights neighborhood is impressed by how the community at large supports their schools. “I think it’s really been positive as a resident of Northeast to see how dedicated our community is on behalf of Whittier and James and North East High School,” Palacios said as he was preparing to board the bus to tonight’s board meeting.

“I think part of the reason is that we are an incredibly diverse community, and so it’s important that the district and the board know that the school closures would impact a strong immigrant community here.”

Rebecca Wampler, an ESL Teacher at Whittier, is concerned the district targeted two of the highest scoring schools in the district for closure which will scatter the students to unfamiliar schools farther away from their homes and families. 

“My hope is that we can seek a different solution that does not involve displacing so many families into so many different areas,” said Wampler.

“We want to know that our families are taken care of. We don’t want to be split into four different schools. If we’re to be moved, we want to be moved as a whole. There has to be a better option than moving schools and educational opportunities out of the poorest income areas in all of Kansas City. That is not an option.”

The group has organized speakers for tonight’s board meeting. We’ll have a complete update after the meeting.