NORTH BLOOMFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – With talks of a school possibly closing, the Maplewood Board of Education met with community members Wednesday night to hear their input before making a decision.
The question and answer session revolved around the possibility of Green Elementary School closing.
About 200 parents, teachers and students packed the Maplewood High School cafeteria to voice their opinions and concerns.
A ten minute presentation broke down the decline in students at Maplewood Local Schools.
“I know it’s an emotional issue, but right now we have buildings that don’t have a lot of kids in them,” Superintendent Perry Nicholas said. “At the elementary, we could probably close down the whole old part of the school and house the kids in the new part, that’s how much extra room there is.”
He said the district has been looking into closing the school for almost six years, but allowing all teachers to keep their jobs.
“It’s just what’s happening out there,” Nicholas said. “I’m not an economist, I’m not somebody who deals with the market, but the bottom line is that’s the data.”
Parents said it’s about more than just the data.
“We care about our kids and we care about their education. It’s not just about the money to us,” Melanie Shipman said.
Donnell Airgood wanted to know what would happen to students with disabilities who need extra help.
Ken Moy suggested that the district should’ve taken action sooner to prevent the problem.
“Instead of taking a wait-and-see approach, after six or seven years, ‘Uh oh, we don’t have students,’ could we have done something then? Is there something we can do now?”
Tami Morrison stood up and praised the board for retaining the teachers’ jobs.
“I just appreciate that you really thought this through and you’re not cutting teaching staff,” she said.
The board has no plans on making a decision until next year.