The board, which reviewed the proposal during its May 12 meeting and held virtual community meetings on May 18, said consolidating the schools will save the district nearly $3.5 million during the upcoming fiscal year.
“I know something like this is never easy for the [board], the community and for students and staff, but I believe ... we'll come out on the other side with better results and outcomes for students," Director of Schools Adrienne Battle said at the May 12 meeting.
The consolidation plan will go into effect for the 2020-21 academic year, according to district officials. Students will report to their new schools in August.
The school district approved the following school consolidations:
- consolidate Joelton Middle School into Haynes Middle School;
- consolidate Robert E. Lillard Elementary School into Alex Green Elementary School and Cumberland Elementary School;
- consolidate Buena Vista Elementary School into Jones Paideia Elementary School; and
- close The Cohn Learning Center and allow students to do credit recovery in their zoned high schools.
Joelton Middle School, Robert E. Lillard Elementary School and Buena Vista Elementary School would receive fewer resources in the upcoming school year due to underenrollment if they were to remain open, according to Battle. She said the district will engage with residents at a later date to determine future uses for the vacated school buildings.
“The consolidations are designed to better serve our students, and we can do this by reducing the number of underenrolled schools,” Battle said. “We can direct more resources to the larger schools that will result [from this plan]. ... We will work with the community to find productive new uses for any of the schools we close.”
According to the plan, tenured and nontenured teachers with "positive evaluations" will be offered a new teaching assignment for the next academic year.