Charles R. Drew Middle closes

Erick Johnson | 7/31/2014, 9 a.m.
Charles R. Drew Middle School closed its doors due to dwindling enrollment. Photo by Erick Johnson

After decades of educating Liberty City youth, Charles R. Drew Middle School has closed.

School officials plan to turn the school building into a community service center, where academic and community resources will be offered to residents.

seventh and eighth grade students in Liberty City will now attend Charles R. Drew K-8 center. The school, which is next to the former middle school, is located at 1755 NW 60th Street.

Because of dwindling enrollment, the school board voted to closed the school after several meetings with parents, and community residents were held in May 2012. By the 2011-2012 school year, only 445 students were enrolled, according to Marcos Moran, assistant superintendent of operations for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Letters were also sent to parents whose children were enrolled at the school

“Every effort was made to inform the parents and the community of these meetings,” said Moran.

According to data obtained by The Miami Times, enrollment at Drew Middle School was as high as 1,407 for the 2001-02 school year but those numbers declined significantly over the years.

Established in 1967 Charles Drew Middle School was once a flourishing institution in the Black community. District 5 City Commissioner Keon Hardemon is an alumnus of Charles R. Drew Middle and Charles R. Drew Elementary.

In its final years, Charles Drew Middle established a magnet program to raise its standards. Located amid deteriorating housing projects, the school struggled to improve students’ academic performance. Despite having the one of the best teacher-student ratios among middle schools in the county, the school consistently received D’s on the state’s accountability report.