Closing of Rosedale high school suggested Featured

Superintendent James Johnson-Waldington presented recommendation to the West Bolivar Consolidated School District Board of Trustees to close West Bolivar High School.

The recommendation reads, “Based on the condition of West Bolivar High School and the consistent decline in student population in the schools in Rosedale, as it is throughout the school district, I am submitting the following recommendation to the West Bolivar Consolidated School District Board of Trustees for your consideration for the 17-18 school term.”

The superintendent asked for the Rosedale high school to be closed on July 1 and to move the students in the next year to the campus of West Bolivar Middle School, changing the name of the campus to West Bolivar High School.

Johnson-Waldington also included plans for other schools.

According to his recommendation, the Joe Barnes Vocational Technical Center will remain open and operational and for hiring an assistant principal to West Bolivar Elementary School.

His recommendation also ask for the board to accept an approval to renovate the gyms and extend the parking lots, as well as refurbishing the visitor's bleachers at the football field and to renovate the cafeteria at West Bolivar Middle School.

In addition, the superintendent mentioned the cafeterias at McEvans Elementary School and West Bolivar Middle School have received a $35,000 food service grants.

There was also a recommendation to place the principal at West Bolivar Middle School at Ray Brooks School and for the board to approve advertising for a principal for the new combined school.

Trustees Pamela Tucker 4 expressed concerns with Johnson-Waldington's recommendation.

"My primary concern is that we have told parents publicly that this was not even a discussion," said Tucker.

Tucker expressed concerns about there a lack of transparency between the board and the superintendent.

"We stood as a solid front; all of us stood before those people and said that this was not a topic of conversation. We're getting a recommendation; the recommendation did come just abruptly, so honestly a conversation was had even if it wasn't amongst the board members. So when we stood solid, we had not had this conversation. We get a recommendation without having a conversation. It does not look good for any of us," said Tucker.

"From the superintendent's standpoint, I have to make a recommendation to the board in the best interest of the children and the school district. Now what we as the board and community decide to do that's another thing, but as the superintendent, I have to make the recommendations in the best interest of the district,” responded Johnson-Waldington.

Board President Evereth Stanton suggested that the board sit down and further look into Johnson-Waldington's recommendation.

The board made a motion to postpone making a decision on the recommendation, and to include it in a special call meeting in order for the board look deeper into the matter.

No date for the meeting was set.

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