Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

School Board Roundup

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

School Board Roundup

Article excerpt

More than 20 people spoke against the closing of three elementary schools at a public hearing before the Duval County School Board Tuesday.

The board wants to close Norwood, Normandy and Bethune elementary schools and reassign students to neighboring schools.

The reason for closing Bethune and reassigning its students among St. Clair Evans, George Washington Carver and Carter Woodson elementary schools is environmental.

There has been considerable concern because of possible site contamination, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency is considering a possible cleanup of the site.

Closing Norwood and Normandy, now serving 164 and 182 students, respectively, is recommended by the staff because of declining enrollments.

Both are located in older communities with declining populations of school-age children.

Schools with small enrollments require more financial assistance from district funds to operate, officials say.

Norwood students would be reassigned to North Shore Elementary School, while Normandy students would go to Ramona Boulevard Elementary School.

The School Board will vote on the proposed closings at its March 6 meeting. If approved, the schools will close at the end of the school year in June.

Among items considered at the meeting:

GENERAL AGENDA:

Conducted a public hearing on proposal to modifyannual leave for professional personnel.

Conducted a public hearing on proposal to change attendance boundaries for George Washington Carver Elementary School.

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTIONAL SERVICES AGENDA:

Confirmed submission of a $50,000 state grant application to the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Enhancement program.

Approved summer school 2001 eligibility criteria, programs, schedules, enrichment and enhancement programs.

Approved a home instruction program for pre-school youngsters.

ADMINISTRATION AND BUSINESS SERVICES AGENDA:

Approved various budget resolutions.

Received for information the superintendent's financial statement for December.

Approved a renewal of property insurance. …

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