Alcy and Vance on chopping block - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Parents ask district to 'save our schools'

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Officials held a district-wide meeting at the school board nearly two weeks ago. Officials held a district-wide meeting at the school board nearly two weeks ago.
Community members near Alcy said after dismissal Monday afternoon that they look forward to voicing concerns on their own turf. Community members near Alcy said after dismissal Monday afternoon that they look forward to voicing concerns on their own turf.
Alcy and Vance (pictured) remain among the 13 school on the chopping block due to things like under-utilization, under-enrollment, and achievement issues. Alcy and Vance (pictured) remain among the 13 school on the chopping block due to things like under-utilization, under-enrollment, and achievement issues.
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(WMC-TV) - Parents and others community members sounded off against the possible closures slated by the Shelby County School District at Alcy Elementary and Vance Middle schools Monday night.

District leaders promised community meetings at individual schools before any final decision concerning proposed closures.

Alcy and Vance remain among the 13 school on the chopping block due to things like under-utilization, under-enrollment, and achievement issues. Click here to read the 13 schools on the list.

Officials held a district-wide meeting at the school board nearly two weeks ago. Parents and supporters showed up with signs saying "save our school" accompanied by plenty of opinions. Students themselves even pleaded with board members.

Community members near Alcy said after dismissal Monday afternoon that they looked forward to voicing concerns on their own turf.

"Make a decision like this it has to be with public opinion. It has to be with all the other factors involved to make a big decision like this," said parent Tonya Pittman.

Deputy superintendent Willie Rhodes served up data—dealing with unappetizing achievement and enrollment numbers—to a crowded cafeteria at Alcy.

"I'm just the messenger here," he said. "The numbers are going to dip in the next five years."

The principal admitted to the school's uphill battle.

"I'm not going to fudge it. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, but it doesn't mean we can't improve," said principal Sunya Payne.

Vance Middle's crowd was not as big as the one at Alcy, but the majority of the district's data was equally dismal.

"She said the building was built for 900 students and they're serving, like, less (sic) than 200," said parent Jennifer Neal-Hart.

Vance parents believe that might change with the redevelopment of nearby public housing.

"Quite frankly, there appear to be some things we might not have looked at that they want us to review, and I think they should be reviewed before decisions are made," said SCS board member Teresa Jones.

A final decision on school closures could come by the end of February. Comments from the meetings, along with a Final Impact Report, will be presented to the board after all meetings are held.

The next two will take place Thursday night at Riverview and Gordon Elementary Schools. See the below list for the remainder of the closure meetings. All meetings begin at 5:30 p.m.

  • February 3: Graves Elementary & Northside High School
  • February 4: Westhaven Elementary
  • February 6: Lanier Middle
  • February 10: Riverview Middle

Corry, Cypress, Klondike, and Shannon Schools are also on the closure list but they will continue to be operated by the Achievement School District or a charter school.

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