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Heart of Lubbock Community Comes Together to Keep Dupre Elementary Beating

LISD Planning to close the school that is the beating heart of that neighborhood


By: Barrett Bergez, Intern for Latino Lubbock Magazine

Edited by CMG

Photo by LISD


Dupre Elementary is the oldest and most historic school in the Lubbock Independent School District (LISD). It was constructed in 1927 in the Heart of Lubbock neighborhood to serve the ever-growing number of children and families in that area.


Unfortunately, on October 17, LISD announced its plan to redistrict the school, and separate its students and staff between Carmona-Harrison and Brown Elementary School.


They stated that because Dupre enrollment has dropped below minimum student enrollment of 200, currently 196 students – they could not afford to sustain it.


Dr. Nicholas Bergfeld, a sustainable economic development policy advisor for Lubbock Compact, are among those working to save Dupre Elementary from being closed.


He explained the process LISD goes through when closing a school. First, there is a vote to redistrict the school, which turns it into a vocational facility. After this, there will be a separate vote to close the school.

Bergfeld said earlier this year, two programs at Dupre, which had over 20 students each, were shut down. This caused those students to be transferred out of Dupre dropping the school enrollment under 200.


Bergfeld said LIDS has a track record of closing schools when enrollment numbers are too low, and sending the students to other schools.


“One of the core issues we’ve experienced over time is the defeating policy of closing neighborhood-level elementary schools,” he said.


Bergfeld said by closing schools, the district believe they will increase their budget by cutting costs. In reality, they end up hurting neighborhoods and the by removing the schools that families need for their kids.

He described neighborhood schools as the community anchor and by shutting them down, the beating heart of the neighborhood is removed.


According to Bergfeld, he said for families with young kids, one of the major factors of finding a house is also finding a good school in their immediate neighborhood.

He said for families with two to three jobs, it is incredibly important for schools to be nearby, otherwise, it can be incredibly difficult to manage their lives.


Justin Sitce, executive director of HOPE Community of Shalom in the Heart of Lubbock, provides one of the few after-school programs with over 40 kids directly across avenue T from Dupre.

“I believe it is the most ethnically diverse, socio-economic diverse neighborhood in Lubbock,” Sitce said of Heart of Lubbock.


According to statisticalatlas.com, the median household income in the Heart of Lubbock is $31,900. The population is 36.4% Hispanic, 2.9% black, and 57.8% white.


Leia Danette, a Dupre parent, is among the parents taking against the school closing, and created a Facebook page to organize the neighborhood into action.


She said no one from the district ever spoke with the school or the parents about the low enrollment numbers. According to Danette, she said found out about the school’s closing from a local news station.


“We had enough kids… I think that when you really look in and dive into some of the data, we were surviving at lower-than-average rates per student in that small building,” she said, “and we have a community.”


According to the LISD elementary school zoning map, the district for Dupre cuts off at 30th Street. The Heart of Lubbock neighborhood goes down to 34th street.


Danette said if all of Heart of Lubbock, from 19th street to 34th street, were zoned to Dupre, the school would be over the minimum enrollment requirement.


“This isn’t about one school closure,” Bergfeld said, “it’s about a historic consistent failed policy over decades that LISD continues to perpetuate against older neighborhoods in the city of Lubbock.”


Bergfeld said the difference between the past closures and Dupre is the Heart of Lubbock community coming together to fight against Lubbock ISD closing this school.


“It depends on the Heart of Lubbock neighborhood being able to show how organized they can become, to be able to be a unified voice and demand that LISD treat them as a community partner,” Dr. Bergfeld said.

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Posted courtesy of Latino Lubbock Magazine Digital Media Read the November Issue of Latino Lubbock Magazine online at https://www.latinolubbock.net/magazine-preview Please visit www.latinolubbock.net for a centralized list of COVID-19 resources. For advertising call (806)792-1212



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