Frequently Asked Questions about Consolidating Schools
Why are you considering closing a school?
Closing a school is not an easy choice. In some cases, it creates gaps in educational services and programs for students. In this case, we believe it will have a positive impact on the students from Taylorsville and schools where students may be reassigned. All of the schools in Alexander County have a variety of opportunities, positive community support, and strong educational programs. To believe that we are somehow different or defined by the district lines within our county goes against the grain of who we are.
Each year the budget committee’s responsibility is to consider many variables including the projected enrollment which determines funding for the school system, the costs to run the schools and the needs of the schools. Recommendations must be made by the budget committee for the best interest of students based on those factors. With the cuts to education across the state each year, our school system cannot sustain the level of programs and services without making cuts.
Why close Taylorsville Elementary?
It wasn’t that we were looking for a school to close and just picked Taylorsville. We know the expenses of repairing and renovating the school are great and the return on the investment to do those things would still leave the school lacking in some areas. In reality, it just makes sense to close Taylorsville and allow students to be assigned to one of the four neighboring schools.
What will happen to the students who go to Taylorsville Elementary School?
The students will be welcomed into neighboring schools based on their location. Sugar Loaf, Ellendale, Hiddenite, and Wittenburg will plan open house times for those students and their parents to come to the school and meet staff and learn about the schools.
What will happen to the teachers and staff of Taylorsville Elementary School?
Each staff member will be assigned to other schools in the district.
Will this cause overcrowding at the other elementary schools?
No. Currently, none of the schools in our school system are at a full capacity. A chart is attached under the resources tab listing each of the schools, the year they were build (and additions), the school’s capacity, and its current enrollment.
Won’t class sizes increase?
One of the challenges we face when operating schools of various sizes is the ability to balance class sizes district-wide. Individual K-3 classes cannot exceed more than 24 students or an average of 21 per class across the district. In some cases, increasing the number of students in a particular grade level at a school will provide for a full class rather than the need for combination classrooms. We will continue to comply with the state mandates for class sizes.
Can’t something else be cut to keep the school open?
The cost of operating a school system includes supplies and materials, services and programs, capital outlay, miscellaneous cost, but most importantly the salaries and benefits to pay our people. About 82 percent of the ACS budget is related to employing school system staff. Closing a school is only part of the overall district plan to save money. There simply aren’t enough expenses like training, supplies, and equipment that can be cut to produce enough savings.
How much money will closing the school save?
Early projections show an estimated cost saving of $540,642 for operating expenses and three million dollars in construction and repair costs.
What will the district do with the building?
It has not been determined at this point.