AISD school board set to vote on school closures Monday

Metz Elementary (KXAN Photo)

Metz Elementary (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Independent School District board members will vote on the future of four schools: Sims, Metz, Pease and possibly Brooke.

RELATED: Austin ISD still considering closing 12 schools, focused on first four

The district leaders will meet on Monday evening. It’s part of the district’s proposal to close or consolidate schools the district says are under-enrolled and outdated.

For some, these school closures or consolidations would cause an inconvenience. For others, like Bertha Rendon Delgado and Landri Torrez saving the school is essentially keeping their identity alive.

“The district doesn’t understand that they’re taking away our history and identity from here,” Delgado said.

“This is us, this is our school this is our neighborhood,” Torrez added.

Five generations of Torrez’s family have attended Metz. Today, that includes her daughter.

Landri’s daughter proudly holds a “Save Our Schools” sign.

“Knowing that this might be her only and her last year here its kind of upsetting because I wanted the same thing for my son,” Torrez said. “I wanted him to (attend Metz) and I wanted him to see the warm hallways that I saw.”

For Torrez, Metz holds a special place in her heart.

“My friends were like, ‘Remember when Paul walked into the band hall and Landri was like, ‘Oh my God, look at him,'” Torrez recalled.

Metz is where she met her husband. She was 11 years old and today the couple is married with two children.

Torrez and Delgado both said losing Metz would erase a part of the community and a part of them.

“You’re trying to rip something away that we cannot let you take away, we can’t,” Torrez said.

“We have barrio still here they say were gone but we’re not gone,” Delgado said. “We’re really fighting hard against the district to make sure that they know that our voice counts.”

MORE: AISD board talks to staff for 1st time since announcing possible 2020-21 school closures

On Monday, a group of state, county and city leaders will hold a news conference to lay out their reasons starting at 11:30 a.m. at Austin City Hall’s Press Room. Those behind this conference said the short timeline, as well as the economically disadvantaged students at the schools, need more consideration.

Pease Elementary students are expected to walk out of classes to march from Pease to City Hall and stand in solidarity with the #SaveAustinSchools coalition.

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