The Vance County Board of Education approved at its March 19, 2018 meeting a plan to combine the middle schools and the high schools for the 2018-2019 school year.
With the board’s action, Eaton-Johnson and Henderson middle schools will be combined and serve middle school students in the facility currently housing Northern Vance High School and Northern Vance and Southern Vance high schools will be combined to serve high school students in the facility currently housing Southern Vance High School next school year.
In January, members of the Board of Education directed the superintendent and school system staff members to seek community input on a potential facilities consolidation plan for the current, traditional middle and high schools. Discussion of consolidation became necessary as the result of several years of declining student enrollment across the district and the need to improve the efficiency and financial sustainability of school operations.
Since early January, over 25 meetings have been held with community stakeholders to seek input on the feasibility of combining the schools and their programs. School officials have heard from over 500 people in the local community with their attendance at community conversations, through email responses and an online survey with school system employees.
The feedback received during community meetings has been extremely informative as to what the public expects from its public schools and their services and programs for students. The majority of the feedback from parents, students, school system employees, elected officials, business leaders and local residents has been in favor of combining the schools.
The board is expected to review and approve a detailed implementation plan to accomplish combining the schools at its April meeting. To address the concerns voiced during the community meetings about school safety, an ad hoc committee from the local community will be established to develop recommendations for board consideration.
“I am pleased with the board’s decision tonight and applaud them for their courage and willingness to do what’s right for students,” Superintendent Anthony D. Jackson said. “We have lots to do. Exciting times and great things are ahead.”Image Information: jarmoluk / Pixabay