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Mar 7, 2013 12:51 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Enrollment no longer 'open' at one Vail school

TUCSON - A popular elementary school in Vail is turning away students who live outside the district's boundaries.

More than 100 kids who attend Senita Valley Elementary through open enrollment are now being forced to look for new schools.

District leaders met with concerned parents Wednesday night.

About 50 families were in attendance, for some it was an emotional night.

Kristi Greene says, "It's heartbreaking, it's hard for the kids to learn that they can't come to a school they've grown to love."

Susan Ames says, "very sad, he's been through a lot and this is his only stability, so it's hard, we're praying."

Another parent said, "when I came to pick them up, I saw my little girl holding a letter, crying and I knew something was going on."

The school sent a letter to parents of about 120 open enrollment students explaining they won't be allowed to return to Senita Valley next school year.

The district then hosted a meeting to answer questions.

Assistant Superintendent John Carruth explains, "the reality is, the neighborhood right around the school has experienced tremendous growth, and we simply don't have enough seats available to accommodate everyone."

District leaders are offering that kids attend Mesquite Elementary instead, or move to a school in their home district.

Some families are taking the news in stride.

"They're resilient, they're kids, they'll fight through and they have a lot of their friends that will be moving over as well," said one father.

For others, where they'll go next year is still up in the air.

Greene says, "we're still working on it."

Student Cameron Ames with his mom Susan says, "I don't want to change. Do you love your teachers? Yes. What's going to be the toughest part for you? Friends."

District leaders say both schools are top performing, equal in academics.

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