Here is another viewpoint on why Cave Spring Elementary School should not be closed. There is no other school like it in Rome or Floyd County.
Part of the reason is the location, right smack in the middle of town. Across the street to Casey’s for a math lesson; down the road partnering with Georgia School for the Deaf to watch a farrier shoe their horses; down the street to Rolater Park for science lessons, then climbing the mountain for fun; making May Day baskets and other goodies for elderly pen pals in the apartments next door; visiting the residents at the Alzheimer’s facility up the road; partnering with the local Ruritans for an Alpha Club; making videos of interviews with local residents; working with Janet Baltzer and Angel Express painting doll furniture; adopting rainforest land, adopting manatees, and a pen pal from Central America named Jorge; enjoying a walking tour with the art teacher, looking at all the houses on the National Historic Register.
These are a few of the many creative things my CSE students did through the years. Other teachers could write similar experiences. Being a STEM school, CSE is known for its creativity and innovation.
Besides being the only Science, Technology, Engineering, Math school in the county, and the only school in a town, CSE is the only school in District 5. If CSE is closed, District 5 and southern Floyd County will have no schools. Meanwhile, the other districts each have three or four.
There is not enough money to keep small neighborhood elementary schools open, but Pepperell Middle is getting a new school and $25 million was recently spent on Armuchee High School. Tell me what is fair about this. Should CSE have to pay for mistakes made in the past and for mistakes still being made?
In closing, I want to quote from State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ “Forging a New Vision”:
1. Protect opportunities for a well-rounded education despite budgetary challenges.
2. Give every school district maximum flexibility from state mandates, and build a system that ensures flexibility is used to elevate instructional quality, create new instructional models, foster innovation, and take strategic risks.
3. It’s my hope that our collective efforts to choose compassion over compliance ... have underscored for all of us what is truly important.
What is truly important is that small, excellent schools be kept open, regardless of the cost.