Wichita Falls ISD to close two elementary schools, repurpose another
District officials said no staff members will lose their job as a result of these closures.
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls ISD has announced two elementary schools will close, while another will be repurposed in an effort to cut costs.
- Lamar Elementary will close - current students will relocate to Booker T. Washington Elementary and Southern Hills Elementary
- Haynes Elementary will be repurposed as an early learning center - current students will relocate to Burgess Elementary
- Farris Early Childhood Center will close - current students will relocate to Haynes Early Learning Center
WFISD officials said they examined district facilities and determined the annual cost of their maintenance and upkeep. The announced changes reportedly come as several aging buildings will require costly updates in the next few years, and many school are not being used at their full capacity.
These changes will go into effect next school year (2023-2024), pending board approval.
Staff members at the affected campuses have been notified, and district officials said no staff members will lose their job as a result of these closures. Staff will reportedly be reassigned to similar roles and will be notified of their new assignment by April 2023.
From Wichita Falls ISD officials:
“Over the past six months, WFISD has had to make many tough financial decisions that have impacted personnel and district programs. However, we must continue to look at ways to cut costs in order to balance the budget and bring our district back to where it needs to be financially.
One area of the budget that has been closely examined is our district facilities and the annual cost of their maintenance and upkeep. The district has several aging buildings that will require costly updates in the next few years. We also have many schools that are not being utilized at their full capacity. Because of this, district administrators have begun developing a multi-year facility plan to help address these concerns and make better use of our facilities.
In November, the first phase of the facility plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees for their approval. Phase one includes the following recommendations:
- Close Lamar Elementary (relocate current students to Booker T. Washington and Southern Hills)
- Repurpose Haynes Elementary as an Early Learning Center (relocate current students to Burgess Elementary)
- Close Farris Early Childhood Center (relocate students to Haynes Early Learning Center)
Pending board approval, these changes will go into effect next school year (2023-2024).
The staff members of the affected campuses have been notified about the changes. No staff member will lose their job as a result of these facility closures. Staff will be reassigned to a similar role in the district and will be notified of their new assignment by April 2023.
We understand that changes such as these can be difficult for staff, students and families. However, we hope to make this transition as seamless as possible. We will be communicating with the staff and families at the schools affected throughout the process. We also plan on holding community meetings to address questions and concerns that our community may have.
We appreciate your support and understanding as we make these difficult, but necessary, decisions to help improve WFISD for our staff, students and families.”
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