An effort to reopen Hyde Park Elementary is underway by a small group of energized and concerned neighborhood parents. The school was closed in 2005 due to a decline in enrollment and has since been used as temporary location for Kilgore and Mt. Washington schools as they renovated their buildings.
Since the absence of a public elementary school in Hyde Park, the community has seen a loss in young families seeking an affordable public education. The Parents for Hyde Park School
now want to make a difference as they try to convince Cincinnati Public Schools that reopening Hyde Park Elementary would benefit greatly both the school system and community.
"On the whole, this is a win-win situation for all parties involved. The community wins as it attracts more young families to the area. The current and new residents benefit by having access to an elementary school for their children, and CPS benefits by having an excellent rated school in their portfolio," Tom Rowe explained. Rowe is an active parent in the fight for this cause. "If everyone gets on the same side of the table to work on solutions, we think we can get this thing accomplished. We are extending our hands to work with CPS to resolve these issues."
Hyde Park students currently attend Kilgore in Mt. Lookout, which is supposed to house 450 students. Currently, the school houses 629 students, almost 200 students over capacity. Another solution included sending children to Parker Elementary, a school currently on academic watch.
"We think that a quality public school option is critical for the vibrancy of any community. We want to increase the sense of community within three neighborhoods including Hyde Park, Oakley, and East Walnut Hills by having a better public school system," Rowe said. "The school serves the community in general as it serves as a foundation and meeting place for members of the community to interact."
Although efforts have been ongoing for three years, the recent involvement of concerned parents has gotten the attention of CPS. The Parents for Hyde Park School claim reopening the school would help save CPS money in the long run and provide a necessity for a vibrant community.
"Our goal is to have CPS reopen Hyde Park School as East Side Elementary providing top notch elementary education to the children of Oakley, East Walnut Hills, and Hyde Park," Row said.
Writer: Lisa Ensminger