The leadership of Birmingham City Schools has proposed several changes to the school closing and consolidation plan that was recommended in February after parents and others expressed concerns.
A plan was presented during meetings this week at Huffman, Carver, and Jackson-Olin high schools by Superintendent Craig Witherspoon and Chief Financial Officer Ed Richardson that would achieve a one-month's operating reserve balance as required by law. School closings and consolidations are a major part of this plan.
Student safety was a concern expressed by parents and other stakeholders in regard to the proposal to have students in grades 7-12 combined at Carver and Woodlawn high schools.
"Community support is a crucial part of our success, and it is important for us to hear the concerns of our stakeholders." Witherspoon said. "This amended proposal is evidence that we're not only listening to those concerns but responding to them."
Witherspoon recommends the following changes:
- The reconfiguration of Carver and Woodlawn high schools to become 7th through 12th grade schools has been removed from the list of recommendations.
- South Hampton Elementary School would become a K-8 school to accommodate the students from Daniel Payne Middle School.
- Lewis Elementary School and Norwood Elementary School would be consolidated and use the former Kirby Middle School building.
- Putnam Middle School would remain open.
- Avondale, Oliver and Barrett elementary schools would remain K-5 schools while Hudson, Hayes, and Inglenook K-8 schools would stay as K-8.
April Williams, President of the Birmingham Board of Education says "The revised plan is a reflection of leadership and community at its best."
Witherspoon added "I look forward to nurturing a culture of collaboration as we continue to work to make our district stronger."