Francisco vote may be July 13

The long debate over the future of Francisco Elementary School will likely be resolved at a school board meeting rescheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, July 13, one day after the board has scheduled a public hearing on the issue at the Francisco Community Center.

“We felt the community would like an answer sooner rather than later,” said School Board Chair Sonya Cox, when asked why the meeting had been moved from the previously scheduled date of July 20 to the new date of July 13. “The school system also needs as much time to work out details as possible should we decide to close the school.”

Cox said the board will almost definitely vote, one way or another, on the fate of Francisco Elementary School at the July 13 meeting.

“We are meeting with the community on July 12 to give them information and to listen to the community and give them an opportunity to cover anything we might have missed before we vote,” she said.

Cox noted that the projected enrollment for Francisco Elementary for the 2015-16 school year had recently dropped below 50 students.

“That concerns us,” she said. “It seems like it is dropping a little bit more every week. It seems to make sense to make the decision sooner rather than later. We are just trying to move through the process to get an answer.”

She said all board members had been contacted about, and were accepting of, the change in meeting dates.

Cox estimated that if the board votes to close the school on July 13, it may take the school system about two weeks to figure out which school the current students will be attending in the fall.

She said that with the change in meeting dates parents will not only know whether or not Francisco Elementary School will remain open, but if it is closed, parents will also know what school their students will be attending in the fall by the end of July.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

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