Pinkerton students share love of school to trustees


Vibha Viswanath

Pinkerton Elementary School second grader Rhua Mohanlal discusses her favorite parts about her school in support of keeping Pinkerton Elementary open at the Coppell ISD Board of Trustees meeting. The meeting was held on Monday at the Vonita White Administration Building.

Deepali Kanchanavally, Staff Writer

Many parents, teachers and students are concerned about the possibility of Pinkerton Elementary School’s closure. Eight elementary schools are included in the Bond Committee’s renovation proposals for the possible bond election in May, and speakers at Monday’s Coppell ISD Board of Trustees meeting pushed for the inclusion of Pinkerton in the proposal.

“I love Pinkerton,” Pinkerton second grader Evalyn Medina said. “I would be so sad if it closed and I was separated from my friends. Please keep my school open.”

CISD is considering a bond election in May to renovate various district campuses, notably elementary schools. A district bond committee consisting of district faculty, staff, students and community members has concluded its meetings and is presenting the board with its recommendations.

Pinkerton is the first elementary school built in CISD. It is also one of the nine International Baccalaureate schools in the Dallas area, according to CISD cooperative strategies officer Cindy Powell. Speakers at the board meeting expressed that a school with that much academic prestige should not be closed.

In an effort to try and persuade the Board to keep the school open, Pinkerton Elementary students and parents shared their stories about why they love the school and its impactful role in their lives. Oksana Kinnunen is a parent who recently moved to Coppell from Europe. 

“In Pinkerton, we got help,” Kinnunen said. “We got support. We got involved in the community; we gained friends. For my family, Pinkerton is not just a school. It’s a place where every learner matters. It’s a place where amazing teachers, great students and amazing parents are all collaborating together.”

Parents and teachers also wanted more transparency and information about the $9.7 million district budget deficit, some wondering if the deficit even exists. Trustees discussed the community’s involvement in decisions regarding the board’s plans and transparency with the community.

“If we already know what the decision is, that’s not community involvement,” trustee Manish Sethi said. “We are taking community input so that when those topics come on our agenda, we know what the community wants and we can take that into consideration.”

The Bond Committee shared its master plan, which included building renovation needs and the ballot proposition cost of $310,200,000. Recommendations for the facilities, including fine arts rehearsal spaces, STEM makerspaces and more instructional space, were also discussed. The district and the Board will choose five schools to have a pre-kindergarten program. 

Powell and Bond co-chairs Jim Walker and Dilan Patel also talked about safety and security improvements, including the replacement of the existing door handles and locks and the installation of new security cameras for all classrooms and exterior doors. 

All information discussed by the Bond committee during the meeting will be discussed by the Board at its Feb. 6 workshop. The Board will further discuss the bond and a possible bond election on Feb. 13. The deadline for the Board to decide whether or not to have a bond election is Feb. 17.  

The meeting was adjourned shortly after the motion to have the School Board General Election on May 6 was passed. 


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