Board responds to community questions

On Monday, the Stokes County School Board provided answers to a number of questions raised Sunday during a public hearing on the closure of Francisco Elementary School.

Chief among those questions were concerns over why Pre-K and self-contained EC classes were moved from the school.

In a handout provided to the school board, school administration staff noted the move of EC classroom to Lawsonville Elementary School was the result of a number of factors including transportation issues, behavior difficulties on buses, and a desire to create an EC hub for the northern part of the county.

Director of Special Programs Traci Royal said the pre-k program had not been moved, but had been closed because there were not enough students to fund it.

“The students that qualify for the program apply through the Stokes Partnership for Children,” she said. “The reason the classroom at Francisco was closed was because there were only five applications for the next year and that did not create enough funding for it to continue.”

Transportation Director Brad Lankford, responding to questions about bus routes being changed, said his department had not changed any routes yet, but had created alternatives should the school be closed.

“If we move the students to Nancy Reynolds, then we would be able to use two buses that are there and one bus from Francisco to make the bus routes more even,” he said. he added that, to his knowledge, no bus routes that use to feed Francisco had been changed to take students to other schools. “I can’t just change a district routing. The district lines have been the district lines for as long as I know.”

Board Chair Sonya Cox, responding to questions about the fate of funding to replace carpets at the school, assured parents that those funds were still set aside.

“It was the board’s decision to not place new carpet in the school until we knew what would be there,” she said. “But that money is still allocated and has not been spent.”

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

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