Ocean Beach Elementary School Parents Protest Reassignment of Teachers

Ocean Beach Elementary was projected to enroll 474 students but instead enrolled 413, the principal said..

Parents of students at Ocean Beach Elementary are concerned about the loss of two Kindergarten teachers due to low enrollment.

About 40 students, parents and supporters stood outside the school on Santa Monica Boulevard Monday morning.

They braved the rain before the opening school bell to make their voices heard in the community.

On Sunday, OB Elementary School Principal Marco Drapeau posted a letter to families on the school's website.

The school was projected to enroll 474 students but instead enrolled 413, the principal said.

“We are very saddened by having to say goodbye to any of our beloved staff. We know how much each and every teacher here means to the community. Unfortunately, our enrollment numbers can’t support the staff as it is currently,” Drapeau wrote.

The two teachers must be re-assigned elsewhere in the district.

San Diego Unified School District officials say this is a tough decision to make but enrollment numbers at OB Elementary have fallen below projections.

Parents here admit that the removal of the teachers will bring class sizes to the 24 to 1 student teacher ratio that teachers and the district agreed on.

At the same time, the parents don't want to say goodbye to teachers that they've come to know and love.

They add that the drop in enrollment is a fluke. Those protesting say enrollment will grow with the building of a new condo complex nearby.

“We're anticipating a lot of families,” said parent Suzy Reid.
“Unfortunately if we're at capacity it could cause another re-organization in February once those units begin selling or renting so we only see ourselves growing as a community.”

The district says these teachers might be able to stay if enrollment for the coming year goes up.

But for now the plan is to move them to another school in the district.

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