Neighbors upset over plans for Tyler's Stewart Middle School

Neighbors are banding together to keep Stewart Middle School in service for the community's students. TISD is planning on keeping the building but sending the students somewhere else as part of its long term plan for the year 2020.

Hundreds of kids call Stewart Middle School home seven hours a day, five days a week.

"The majority of the kids who attend Stewart Middle School walk to school," Donald Sanders said. "That's a big plus."

Years ago Sanders was one of them. But now he and many others are worried about a TISD proposal that would send students across town, changing Stewart into an alternative campus. That change would take students with special learning requirements away from the Plyler alternative school and put them at Stewart instead. Existing students would be dispersed to other schools.

The district wants to turn around and sell Plyler as part of a plan to re-shape TISD by 2020.

"I want them to remain here in this community," Gloria Washington said. "My granddaughter is a gifted and talented student in the TISD. We have been in the process of looking for a school for when she leaves Owens."

Washington joined Sanders and others to get the word out about the district's plans. They had one meeting last week and they're hoping word spreads in time to attract a crowd to the next one, in which TISD leaders will be meeting with people from this community.

Washington said until then she'll do what she does every morning and every afternoon.

"We are always attentive to those students [as they walk to and from school], making sure that they're not walking in the street. Making sure there are no fights. Making sure there are no arguments. And if something like that were to arise we could just step out our door and be like a little referee."

"Tyler ISD will meet with community members on February 5th to discuss the district's long range plan," TISD Spokesperson Dawn Parnell said. "The district will listen to input from participants and have a question and answer session."

That meeting will be Tuesday, February 5 at 6pm. It's being held at the St. James Missionary Baptist Church on Lyons Avenue.


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