Tucson Unified School District
Wrightstown Elementary to close after 96 years
East Side school will merge with Henry Elementary
The Tucson Unified School District Governing Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to merge the East-Side school with Henry Elementary effective this fall.
The vote wasn't a surprise. Wrightstown Principal Jon Ben-Asher, who also is principal at Henry, told TucsonSentinel.com before the vote that parents and area residents saw the writing on the wall.
“My sense was that many people in the Wrightstown community felt this was inevitable. It was voiced several times by parents and community members that it was time,” he said.
"I appreciate that this could be a much more difficult transition for your children if you weren't on board and positive about it," said governing board member Adelita Grijalva, according to KOLD.
Jessica Carlisle Markley, a member of the Wrightstown site council, voted along with the council majority for the merger with Henry, 650 N. Igo Way.
She said it’s “a little sad” leaving a building that so much important history . . . but it's just a building. What’s inside, such as our students and teachers is what’s most important and we are taking all of the important stuff with us."
Some Wrightstown positions - including office manager, monitors, crossing guards, custodians, food services and the health assistant - no longer will be needed at Henry. One teacher position at the merged school also will be eliminated, reports the Arizona Daily Star. The Wrightstown custodians, office manager and health assistant will be given district transfers and are guaranteed employment at other sites.
But it's not all sad news for the school at 8950 E. Wrightstown Road, Ben-Asher said.
TUSD will allow school budgets to be combined for three years, - five if the economy improves - make capital improvements to the school getting new students, and get utility savings of up to 35 percent from the school that closed, he said.