WPCSD addresses Central School closing concerns

Fifth Street principal Richard Bryant shows parents where student's will be located at Fifth Street after moving from Central School at the beginning of the new school year during a meeting Monday night. (Photo by Mary Rumore, SDN)
Starkville Daily News

West Point Consolidated School District administrators held a meeting Monday night to address parent concerns of Central School closing and its students being moved to Fifth Street and West Point High School North Campus in the fall.

According to WPCSD Superintendent Burnell McDonald, due to structural issues at Central School that would cost between $500,000 and over $1 million to repair, all fifth, sixth and seventh grade students will be housed at Fifth Street School and eighth and ninth grade students will be housed at West Point High School North Campus.

Richard Bryant will remain principal of Fifth Street with Lucy McKellar and Talisha Cheeks as assistant principals, and Wynesther Cousins will be the principal at West Point High School North Campus with Shameeka Deanes as assistant principal.

Cousins said the left wing of the WPHS North Campus will all be for eighth grade classes, and the whole right wing will be for ninth grade classes.

Bryant said students at Fifth Street will be split up by grade throughout the Fifth Street campus and showed a map of the school with classes during the meeting.

"We have five teachers per team for seventh grade and three teachers per team for fifth and sixth," Bryant said. "They'll continue to do the same things they've been doing here at Central with three teachers per team, just like they've done before."

A parent raised concerns about playground equipment for recess for fifth and sixth grade students who will continue to have recess at Fifth Street.

McDonald said if the school board decides that Central School will not reopen, the playground equipment could be moved from there to Fifth Street, and the PTA at Central School has also raised money to purchase playground equipment.

Another parent also raised concerns about increased numbers of students in each classroom because of the move.

McDonald said there would not be an increase in students in each class, and there same classes will be offered to students as before the move.

A parent questioned the decrease in property values of homes around Central School if it is condemned, and asked when the board would have a definite answer on if it would be condemned or reopened.

McDonald said the board did not have an answer at the time, but the public would be notified as soon as a decision was made about the future of Central School.

The same parent questioned whether the auditorium would still be used for performing arts and special events.

McDonald said at the time, he was unsure if the board would allow for other additional functions to be held at the auditorium.

Parent Choice will continue for fifth and sixth graders, and Parent Choice for incoming sixth graders will be 5:30 p.m. May 15 at Fifth Street, and Parent Choice for incoming fifth graders will be at 5:30 p.m. May 17 at Fifth Street.