NELLIS — The Boone County Board of Education held a public meeting at Nellis Elementary School on November 9 to allow parents and teachers to voice their concerns about the potential consolidation of the school with nearby Ashford-Rumble Elementary.
When Boone County School Officials announced that Wharton Elementary, Jeffrey Spencer Elementary, and Nellis Elementary were all recommended for closure, students were worried about the possibility of going to other schools.
“I just don’t want it to close. I want people to learn here,” said six-year-old NES student, William Blaylock.
At the public meeting, parents were given a total of three minutes a piece to explain why they wanted to see the school remain open.
School officials said the decision isn’t personal, but something they have to do after losing millions of dollars in annual funding.
“It appears that we are going to be down about $5.9 million in our district, and unfortunately, tough decisions have to be made,” said Boone County Schools Superintendent John Hudson.
While many parents hoped the decision wasn’t final, Board of Education members said plans for consolidation are nearly complete. According to state code, a final decision must be made by the end of December for all three schools to close by the 2016-2017 school year.
“There will either be a regular meeting where they will vote or a special meeting where they will decide to vote at that time, but it must be complete by December 31st,” said Superintendent Hudson.
Many parents felt defeated after the meeting, saying that the school is the heart of their community and they believe things will only go downhill from here.
“The school goes, our community goes, our heart is gone. They’re going to rip the heart out of our kids,” said Robert Blaylock of Nellis, WV.
The Boone County Board of Education will meet with parents and teachers at Jeffrey Spencer Elementary on November 19th.