Citizens voice concerns about some WFISD schools potentially closing

Citizens voice concerns about some WFISD schools potentially closing

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Wichita Falls ISD board room was packed with people wanting to make their voices heard about why they do not want any school buildings in District 2 to potentially close.

The school board has discussed closing Kate Burgess Elementary and changing Hirschi High School and Booker T. Washington Elementary into middle schools.

Parent and educator Erica Persaud said, “Members just like you in the past have actually come to this decision before. They’ve closed down buildings and made promises of a better life for our children only to find these buildings overcome by foliage.”

Many were also worried that building a single high school - an option the board has discussed in facility planning meetings - would not be good for students or their parents, especially if the location is further away from District 2.

Another former educator Diann Scroggins said, “Situations where the school is in the neighborhood or in the village, parents are more likely to be engaged.”

Superintendent Michael Kuhrt says no decisions have been made yet about closing, renovating, or building schools.

“We hear what people say. If you don’t have the ability to drive your child to school and have to put them on a bus, well that’s great they get to school, but can you get to school to have a parent teacher conference? We definitely want parents to have that opportunity,” he said.

Also on the school board agenda were waivers for the class sizes of four elementary classes. the board approved the waivers that allow those classes to exceed the state requirement of 22 students to one teacher. Those classes exceed the ratio by one student each.

Another agenda item dealt with students transferring to different schools. Members like Catherine McGregor questioned the fairness of the portion of the policy that lets staff members transfer their children to the school where they work, while non-staff members have to present reasons or hardships to get their children transferred.

Superintendent Kuhrt, however, says they do not plan to make changes to the policy, “I think we've been consistent with transfers and so we're reviewing policy like we do every year.”

The school board has planned another long term facility planning meeting for October 8.

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