Cedar Park Elementary may be closed next fall

Published 7:26 pm Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Selma City School Board is discussing closing Cedar Park Elementary School next school year.

Johnny Moss, president of the board, said the proposal to close the school for the 2018-2019 school year was on first read Thursday night at a called board meeting.

“We just want to ensure that [students] are in the best environment conducive to learning, and that’s all this is about,” Moss said after Thursday’s meeting. “The building, it’s just not as inviting and conducive to learning as we feel it needs to be, so that’s the reason and rationale that we got to this point.”

Moss said issues with the building and a declining student population are the main reasons behind discussing closing Cedar Park.

“Cedar Park is a building with a lack of walls. The rooms are partitioned, and it doesn’t have windows, which in turn creates mold and leakage in the roof. It’s one of buildings we’re constantly having to put money into,” he said. “And we’re seeing the enrollment decrease every year.”

Moss said the school currently has an enrollment of about 120 students, and next year those students will be moved to Edgewood Elementary School, which is around one mile away from Cedar Park. He said students that went to Cedar Park will be transported to Edgewood.

“We want to make sure our students are getting the best education,” Moss said. “No one is going to lose jobs. We’re going to transfer those teachers. They’ll follow the students. The cafeteria staff, they’ll follow those students.”

Moss said Edgewood has room to add up to around 300 more students.

“We see the numbers and the decline in the population,” he said. “The school system should reflect the population, and we’re going to make sure that we’re giving all of our students the proper resources they need to be successful.”

Moss said despite what people are saying no school will close this year.

“Everything will operate just as it’s been for the remainder of the year, and then we’ll make those moves in the fall of next year,” he said. “We want to be as transparent as possible. This is nothing we’re trying to hide or sweep under the rug. We want to dispel rumors that we’re closing schools in December. The schools will not close until the fall of next year.”

Moss said there is a possibility of another school closing but no decision has been made on that yet.

“We have a feasibility study, and based off a feasibility study done in 2010, we should have already closed two schools by now,” he said. “It’s just for a system this size, we’re operating too many buildings.”

Moss said the proposal would be discussed in more detail during a work session scheduled for Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Selma High School library.