District opens discussions on school closure

DOLAN SPRINGS - The future of the Mount Tipton School hangs in the balance - kind of.

That is why the school - which serves K-12 - will hold two town hall meetings at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on April 21.

The first will take place at the school, which is located at 16500 Pierce Ferry Road in Dolan Springs, and the second will be at Yesterdays, a restaurant in Chloride, located at 9827 N. Second St.

Members of the Kingman Unified School District governing board will be in attendance to listen to parents and community members about what they want for their children's education and their expectations for the school. Mount Tipton currently provides education to approximately 300 students from Meadview, White Hills, Chloride and Dolan Springs.

Parents and community members will have a chance to speak and discuss topics of their choice as long as they pertain to the school. A couple of issues that could come up include the cost effectiveness of the school and whether or not the middle and high school students are getting the education they need, said Mount Tipton's Principal Emma Weiss.

Regardless of people's concerns, there is no immediate action planned, said Weiss. The school will continue serving middle and high school students for at least the next two years.

"These are the early stages," Jack Burden, the school's improvement grant coordinator, said. "We just want to let people have their voices."

There will also be an update as to where the school is after its first year of using improvement grant money to restructure the school. From 2005 to 2010 the school did not meet U.S. standards of Adequate Yearly Progress, said KUSD Superintendent Roger Jacks. That's why the state got involved and the school district created a transformation model to help school help students meet the requirements.

When closing down the middle and high school portions of Mount Tipton came up in the past, it became clear that it is important to most parents that the school stays open.

"Mount Tipton is very important to the community in Dolan Springs," said Jacks.

The meeting is nothing more than an opportunity for the school and district to show the community where Mount Tipton is in its restructuring and hear what the community expects to see from the school, said Jacks.

Rest assured that the KUSD board has made zero decisions about the future of Mount Tipton at this point.