That’s according to North Greene School District Superintendent Les Stevens. He says most school board members discussed several options and two remain on the table.
“First option was to close White Hall Elementary and move those kids, grades K through 3, to the Roodhouse building," says Stevens. "That would make that a pre-K through 6 building. That would move the 7th and 8th graders down to the high school building and turn that into a junior/senior high school."
Stevens says the other option is to leave White Hall Elementary School open…
“And then make some cuts very similar to what we would do with the first option except there would be a difference in the number of paraprofessionals who would be cut," says Stevens. "The kitchen would remain open, so a cooking staff would still be maintained at White Hall Elementary that would have otherwise been reduced had we moved three kitchens into two buildings."
Stevens says the school board indicated it doesn’t want to cut extracurricular activities.
“I heard them say they did not want to cut programming," says Stevens. "Band and music, art, industrial technology, ag and FFA are pretty safe now I think. They may cut some stipends, particularly in the area of assistant coaches. Those may become all voluntary positions. They may take some action with regard to transportation for extracurricular activities, although it's hard to predict what the board will want to do there."
He says the district is looking to save $700,000 next fiscal year. The North Greene School District is operating on a $1.4 million budget deficit this fiscal year. He says if White Hall Elementary is closed and other cuts are made the district should save nearly that much.
“If we don't close the school then it's going to be harder to get to that without making some significant cuts in programming and that's what they're trying not to do," says Stevens. "That's why I'm guessing they're leaning toward closing White Hall Elementary."
The school board will make a final decision at its next meeting on February 26th.