The Centerville School Board voted to close Cincinnati and Mystic Elementary Schools at the end of the school year during an emotional two-hour meeting Tuesday evening. The motion passed unanimously.
"With declining enrollment…and the current budget constraint that we're under and we're going to be under in the future, I think it's in the best interest of our school district to close the elementary schools," said board member Michelle Moore.
"Even though I have strong ties to the Cincinnati School, it is with a heavy heart that I feel it is in the best interest of the school district as a whole to close both Mystic and Cincinnati at this time," board member Jeri Pershy said. "I appreciate all the input of the staff as well as local residents at all the meetings. I listened, learned and in the end changed my opinions on some of the cuts recommended. I can only hope our decision tonight is the right one. Only time will tell."
"I'm going to vote yes because of the cost savings…but I'd like to see the Cincinnati and Mystic kids when they come over here…stay together," said board member Tom Lange.
Superintendent Tony Ryan said they would try to keep the classes together as much as possible.
Closing of the schools means the loss of one full-time special education teaching position, two full-time Title I reading positions, three full-time general education teaching positions, two secretarial positions and two custodian positions. The board voted to move four general education teaching positions from those schools into Centerville so that each grade K-3 will have five sections next year, to help keep class sizes smaller.
Because of the move to close the outlying schools and adding a fifth section of K-3 into the Centerville school buildings, the board also moved to transition the third grade students to Lakeview Elementary beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.
At the Monday night work session the board and administrators had discussed the possibility of the third grade being housed at Lakeview. It was emphasized that the children would be housed in their own area and would have their own lunch period and recesses.