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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Oolitic Community Members discuss options about Middle School potential closure

OOLITIC - MARCH 28, 2023 - Organized by Craig Godsey, members from the Oolitic community met and discussed the potential closure of the middle school.

Those attending was allowed to speak for or against closing the Oolitic Middle School, most who attended were in support of keeping the school open.

However, there were several who stated their children or grandchildren had great experiences at Bedford Middle School and thrived during the present school year.

Last school year, there were two votes taken by the school board to decide whether to close Oolitic Middle School, however the NLCS board is now challenged with voting a third time to close the facility.

There are only five students currently enrolled at the Oolitic Middle School in the 2022-2023 school year. Decisions about the school will have to be made for the upcoming school year.

" I am grateful for those who came out tonight. I wish there was more attended this evening. I personally came away with more information from this evening's meeting.

The dialogue from the community worked both in support of both Oolitic Middle School and Bedford Middle Schools tonight. I think this type of community meeting needs to be done again," said Craig Godsey whose daughter currently attends 6th grade at Needmore Elementary School.

" The work session by North Lawrence Community School board on Thursday is going to be great. This will allow us to able to hear what the NLCS board has to say. I think more questions from the public are going to come from that, because we are not going to be able to speak at that meeting," added Godsey.

Video: Opening remarks by Craig Godsey and Kayla Hoffman

" I would love for the NLCS to set up a forum for the community to be able to weigh in on the matter. I believe the intimidation is no longer there, in order for the public to be able to for the public who will be able to speak more freely. Only three of the seven have only been on the board since January. What this new school board has done so far is impressive. We cannot get lost in surveys and data, at some point the decision has to be made," said Godsey.

Godsey says, he is looking at all options for his daughter, who may even chose another school district should OMS be closed permanently.

In the 2023-2024 School year there is a total of approximately 536 6th and 7th graders in the NLCS school district.

Photo: Many who attended the meeting Tuesday night stated the experience for their child or grandchildren was positive at Bedford Middle School

The North Lawrence Community Schools is still facing staffing shortages in finding teachers and support staff. The NLCS teachers still are the least compensated schoolteachers compared to other school districts in the area.

The NLEA have not been able to negotiate better pay for schoolteacher over the last three teacher contracts, and this year NLEA will begin teacher pay negotiations since the consolidation of the corporation.

North Lawrence Community School board will have a work session on Thursday beginning at 5:00 pm. Normally during a work session the public can only observe the meeting.

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