The Floyd County Board of Education voted Monday evening to close Cave Spring Elementary School and Glenwood Primary School at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.
Board member Danny Waits, who serves the Cave Spring district, voted against the motion to close CES, saying it is the last school that community has.
“I understand the fiscal responsibility of the board and I understand the perils that we face if we don’t do something,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone who’s currently on this board would ever have wanted to close a school when we signed up,” board member Chip Hood said. “But based on the information that we have at this time and all of the many meetings we’ve had, we need to do what’s best for Floyd County Schools as a whole.”
Board member Melinda Strickland said it came down to a question of employees and students over buildings. Her children attended Glenwood, she said, and she was sad to vote yes on the matter.
“I agree with everything that’s been said ... we need to make sure the system is fiscally responsible,” Chair Tony Daniel said. “I appreciate all of the passion, comments and interactions. I know there are a lot of people that don’t agree with what has to happen, but for long-term for Floyd County Schools, I think it’s the best thing.”
Over the summer of 2022, Cave Spring students will be moved to Alto Park Elementary and Glenwood students will go to Armuchee Elementary.
During caucus, Superintendent Glenn White addressed several claims that people have made in defense of Cave Spring Elementary.
First was the claim that the STEM certification from 2015 has drawn more people to the school. White showed enrollment numbers demonstrating that it really hasn’t had an impact on school growth.
He also pointed out that there aren’t any grants that would necessarily help the situation or fix the main problem, which is too many buildings and not enough students.
Another claim was that the elementary school was the most successful in the school system. After doing some research on the Georgia Department of Education website, White said he found that it isn’t even in the top five elementary schools in Floyd County.
White also showed a resolution sent to the board from Cave Spring City Council asking to delay the vote, but the board went ahead and decided that this meeting would be the best time.
Toward the beginning of the meeting, board members voted for Daniel to serve as chair again and Strickland to serve as vice chair.