Parents of students at Pilot View, Fannie Bush and Central elementary schools now know where their children will attend school next year.
The Clark County Board of Education Tuesday chose the configuration for the district’s elementary schools for the 2012-13 school year after the new elementary school — currently under construction — opens next fall.
After gathering information and input from parents and school staffs at public forums, and looking at several configuration options over the past several months, the board unanimously voted to make all district elementary schools kindergarten through fifth grade, to combine the student populations of Central and Fannie Bush into the new elementary school and to leave the students at Pilot View at their current location for the 2013-14 school year.
The current Central school building will be demolished and removed before the new elementary school opens in August.
The vote was welcome news for many in the large crowd of parents from the three schools that filled and overflowed the board room, many of whom had voiced support prior to the vote for the option of leaving Pilot View students at their current location one more year.
During the months of discussion on the possible configurations for the elementary schools, board members repeatedly stressed their desire to find the best option that would cause the fewest number of school changes for the students at the three schools.
Board member Deanna Wolfe, a parent of an elementary student and a 3-year-old, said she tried to put her self in the position of the affected parents and students and felt like the approved option did that.
“I know it would be nice for everybody to move at the same time, but I think it would be less traumatic for a more significant number of children to let them stay where they are one more year and move Central and Fannie Bush into the new elementary and continue to do K-5 for one more year,” Wolfe said.
“Our goal and our focus is to do what is in the best interest of overall success of academics, so I think keeping them at Pilot View does that.”
The other configuration options the board considered included:
— Option A, which would have made the new elementary school a K-2 facility, consisting of K-2 students from Fannie Bush, Pilot View and Central elementary schools, with Central becoming a 3-5 school, with students from Pilot View and Fannie Bush joining the current grades 3-5 students from Central.
— Option B, which would have made the new elementary school a K-5 facility consisting of all students from Pilot View and Fannie Bush and K-2 students from Central, with the current Central becoming a grades 3-5 building with its current students.
— Option C, which called for both the new elementary school and Central to become grades K-5 schools, with Fannie Bush and Pilot View moving into the new school and Central remaining in its current location for a year.
Board member B.J. Swope said the vote eliminated the concerns he had about safety with the parking lot and road between the new elementary school and the current Central building and also concerns over student moves.
“In one of the scenarios, if the new elementary was kindergarten through second grade and the current Central was grades three through five, third graders at Fannie Bush and Pilot View would be in their current school this year, move to Central for fourth grade, to Conkwright for fifth grade, then to the current (George Rogers Clark High School) building for sixth grade, so that would be four schools in four years and that’s just too much,” Swope said. “I think the least amount of moves we have to have the better.”
The board tabled a vote on configuration options for the 2014-15 school year until it can hold public forums to get input from parents and staffs of the schools that will be involved in the possible moves.
In other business the board:
— Heard an annual report on Clark County Community Education from director Cora Heffner.
— Heard reports on the number of high school students enrolled in Advanced Placement and dual credit courses and the realignment from KCCT proficiency to college and career readiness from Chief Academic Officer Mark Thomas.
— Heard an overview of middle school curriculum from Conkwright Principal Patrice Thompson and Clark Middle Principal Pam Whitesides.
— Approved a 2012-13 contract with Old South Ventures for the lease of the Clark County Preschool building at 19 Wainscott Ave.
— Approved revision of the 2012-13 employee handbook.
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com.