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Parents, Students Debate Over Plan To Add Charter To North High

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Students and parents protest adding a charter school to North High School's campus. (credit: CBS)

Students and parents protest adding a charter school to North High School’s campus. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- The Denver Board of Education is expected to vote Thursday night on what’s become a controversial topic- whether to allow a charter school to move into part of the campus for North High School.

Parents, students and residents in the North High School community said they have 1,200 petition signatures of those claiming they do not support a shared high school campus.

Denver Public Schools administrators are quick to point out that 40 schools in the district are sharing campuses and that it has proven to be a successful and resourceful relationship.

north map Parents, Students Debate Over Plan To Add Charter To North High

(credit: CBS)

Students and parents demonstrated outside the DPS administration building at 9th and Grant in Denver on Thursday afternoon. Most are from the “Choose North Now” group formed in the community. They believe the pairing of schools is a recipe for disaster.

“We exist in a world that choice and competition are significant. That test scores determine the ability to attract kids,” said parent Renee Martinez Stone. “Unfortunately they will always be compared to one another and the pace at which they achieve.”

Stone said there have been years of bad decisions within DPS and those decisions are impacting children.

She said only recently North High’s performance has started to turn around, citing good leadership and increased support from parents.

Stone believes, like many other parents, that the campus with another school will only disrupt the momentum that North has started to gain.

DPS said North is already sharing a campus with a middle school. They don’t believe adding the charter school will make a big difference.

“In the last 10 years the number of school age children has declined by one-third. We do believe they will be able to share for many years to come,” said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg.

The school board meeting began at 5 p.m. Thursday and public comment began at 7 p.m. A vote will be taken once public comment has ceased.

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