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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

School Merger Threatens Small-Classroom Environment

A proposal to merge two high schools in La Puente has some students and teachers up in arms. ATVN's Tallie Johnson spoke with opponents of the merger about why they're better off as seperate schools.

Eighteen-year-old Matthew Mirando says he struggled with his studies until he came to Nueva Vista High, located in the Bassett School District in eastern Los Angeles County.

"This alternative education the whole environment is completely differnt from a regular high school. Here there is less students so therfore the teachers are more one on one," Mirando said.

The alternative school environment at Nueva Vista was created to help students struggling in high school credits catch up to the pack in a smaller, more intimate, and more flexible environment.

But that environment could soon be gone.

A proposal by the school district is pushing to relocate Nueva Vista's 100 students to Bassett High, the other high school in the district, which has a student body of five thousand.

"What we are trying to do is help more students graduate, and the question is if we merge Nuvesta continuation high school could they leverage each other's resouces enough to help more students graduate."

Some students and teachers, however, feel the merger is a bad move.

"Our students have already failed in the traditional environemnt by putting them back over there and donig the things they do we are going to put them in a failing situation and that's just wrong."

"It upsets me because I'm doing really good here, I was actually behind 180 credits and now I'm only behind 52."

Bassett High School officials did not release a statement nor did they make a reprasentative available for an interview.

"I thought there was no possiblity at all to get my diploma, I came here and the teachers imediatly said to me no your a smart kid, we know you can do this--and now I"m on track to graduate."

The school board will vote on the merger tomorrow.

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