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Horace Mann and Buena Vista join forces to form one K-8 school

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There’s a new K-8 school in the Mission neighborhood.

Horace Mann Middle School and Buena Vista Alternative Elementary School will combine to form one school in the 2011-12 school year, according to district officials.

After years of persistently low performance on standardized tests Horace Mann, located at 3351 23rd Street, was pinpointed as one of 10 schools in the San Francisco Unified School District that needs the most help.

Because of the designation, the district received $45 million to turn Horace Mann and the other nine named schools around.

District spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said the two schools were chosen to merge for a variety of reasons including the fact that Mann was designated as needing to turn around, as well as the fact that the district has a shortage of language programs for students entering the 6th grade – Buena Vista has a Spanish immersion program – and there is no other K-8 option in the Mission neighborhood.

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At this time, Mann is the only school that will combine with another, according to Blythe.

Mann has roughly 200 students enrolled at the school but has the capacity for “hundreds more,” Blythe said. Buena Vista has 461 students enrolled.

Making room for Buena Vista teachers and students means that the charter school Metropolitan Arts and Technology High School, which was given temporary space at Mann last summer, needs to find a new home. Blythe said Metro was given an offer to open at the former site of Gloria R. Davis, in the Bayview neighborhood, but the school has not responded.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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