On December 16, Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene presented an updated Optimization Plan to the Board of Trustees during their regularly scheduled meeting. This plan, initially introduced in October, addresses the need for strategic measures due to a significant decline in district enrollment, amounting to approximately 9,500 students lost between the 2015-16 and 2023-24 school years.
The revised plan includes a list of school buildings slated for closure or consolidation, reflecting the evolving needs of the district. Notable adjustments to the initial proposal involve the exclusion of Clausell Elementary School, Green Elementary School, and Key Elementary School, following community feedback on local enrollment and specialized programming. Additionally, Oak Forest Elementary School has been removed from the closure list, replaced by Marshall Elementary School.
The consolidation of Obama IB Elementary and Wells APAC Elementary with their respective middle schools—Northwest IB and Bailey APAC—will be postponed by one year. This delay allows for the completion of renovations at Bailey APAC Middle School.
A key feature of the revised plan is the establishment of a Facilities Repurposing Advisory Committee. This committee, overseen by a consultant, will make recommendations to the Board for each closed building. The consultant will actively pursue private and public funding to support redevelopment efforts, categorizing closed school buildings into sale/lease, redevelopment, or demolition.
The Board is anticipated to vote on the revised Optimization Plan at its upcoming regular meeting on December 19, 2023.