Sacramento City school trustees gave thumbs up Thursday night to joint ventures with community groups to operate in two former elementary schools the district closed in 2013 due to falling enrollment.
La Familia Counseling Center won its bid to begin operations in the former Maple Elementary campus on 37th Avenue in south Sacramento. The counseling center had proposed offering mental and behavioral health counseling, parent classes, a writers’ workshop and recreational programs.
The vote was 5-1, with Trustee Diana Rodriguez opposed. Board member Jay Hansen was absent.
Trustees in a separate, unanimous vote approved a joint venture with a community group collaborative, the Social Good Fund Inc., to use the former Fruit Ridge Elementary on 44th Street in south Sacramento.
Social Good Fund of Richmond is extending its nonprofit services the Fruit Ridge Community Collaborative. Groups in the collaborative are offering a range of community services, including health and wellness, yoga, meditation, cooking classes and daytime activities for adults and seniors, said Judy Smith of Tao Holistics.
In February 2014, a group of educators, parents and community group members meeting as the 7-11 Committee recommended that all closed campuses be used for district programs and by community groups, with priority given to ideas and requests from neighborhood residents.
Seven elementary schools were closed in mid-2013. Besides Maple and Fruit Ridge, the district closed Clayton B. Wire, Washington, Collis P. Huntington, Joseph Bonnheim and Mark Hopkins. All but one, Mark Hopkins, is either being used or is being prepared for reuse.
In June 2014, the trustees in a split vote approved the New Joseph Bonnheim Community Charter School to take the place of Bonnheim Elementary. The campus on Marin Avenue in south Sacramento opened last fall and has about 260 students.
The board is expected to consider whether to reopen Washington Elementary in fall 2016. The school at 18th and E streets in midtown Sacramento will seek to attract students with a focus on STEAM instruction, or science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
A portion of the former Huntington school is used for a district-run preschool program. The district’s nutrition staff is using the former Wire campus for staging and preparation of student meals. The district also uses that site for storage.