by Stephanie Crosby
JCPS Superintendent Sheldon Berman has recommended the closure of Frost Middle School and re-staffing at five other district schools in response to a state audit of the district’s worst-performing schools. The district is forced under state law to take certain actions to improve the schools.
The proposal to close Frost would move the Phoenix School of Discovery to the building currently used by Frost.
At a special board meeting called today (Thursday) to hear the recommendation, board member Larry Hujo expressed frustration at being expected to vote on the proposal by Monday.
“We’re at the end of the school year! We’ve got to make assignments of teachers for next school year,” said Hujo. “This has now changed everything, and now we’re going to do things in haste!”
Berman says re-staffing between 13-and-38-percent of the staffs at Western Middle, the Academy at Shawnee and Fern Creek, Valley and Western High schools would mean transferring some of those schools teachers to other schools in the district.
Board member Joe Hardesty expressed wider concerns about the results of the audit.
“These schools are south end schools, and these are schools I represent, and schools Linda represents, and the Olmsted schools were in this situation not too long ago, so I’m concerned about there being a geographic area of the county that doesn’t appear to be performing to the level that we would expect them to perform,” said Hardesty.
The school district must make certain changes to comply with the recommendations of the audit. JCPS will also be given federal funding to implement the changes at these schools. The board is set to vote on the recommendations on Monday.