School board votes to close Sixth Grade Academy

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – In a potential cost saving move, the Taylor School Board voted 4-3 to close the Sixth Grade Academy building beginning with the 2016-17 school year.

School board members Bobby Masters, Tom Zorn, Blaine Honeycutt and and Douglas Meyers voted for the proposal, and Debbie Stellini, John Reilly and Ron Miller opposed.

Sixth-grade students would attend Hoover Middle School, at 27101 Beverly, and West Middle School, at 10575 William next year instead of remaining at the elementary school level.

The board deferred a vote on closing a high school until the May 23 school board meeting, which would delay any consolidation of Truman and Kennedy high schools until the 2017-18 school year.

Reilly said it was imperative that they get needed information to affected families in a timely manner.

“Whatever it takes to get this thing done, and get it communicated to the community, to parents, to staff, it has to be done,” Reilly said. “The board gets blasted a lot of times because we don’t take action soon enough, and so we have taken action on things that really need to get moving, and they have to get done right.”

Zorn said the board needs to make sure it supports the staff and administrators who will work on the move, and should ask for status reports in a few weeks.

Reilly said even though he voted against the closing of the Sixth Grade Academy, he wants what is best for the kids, and urged the board to set aside their differences and support the move.

Chief financial officer Penny Morgan said physical movement of materials will take place in July and August, and will be covered by the 2016-17 school year budget.

Morgan said their was still some overtime money available in the 2015-16 school year budget, so the timing of the move will determine which budget will pay it.