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Hours Of Meetings Lead To More Questions Than Answers Surrounding The Closure Of Booth School

More than 50 people attended the NCOE School Board public hearing Friday in regards to the closing of Booth School, the first of three. Are these meetings just a formality or is input from the community truly being sought? According to the release from the NCOE board, the board is “considering” closing the school, but comments and questions during the meeting revealed steps may have already been taken to move Booth students to NCOE as early as August.

District Superintendent Matt Vollman opened the meeting stating staffing issues have put them in a bind. Vollman also stated that closing Booth School was not pre-planned. This conversation didn’t even begin until June according to Vollman. “This is not a financial situation. It’s about how we can provide the best education for the kids”.  It takes time to make these massive changes and it was discussed that Enfield staff is already prepared for the move. This was not on the agenda at the last board meeting.

Carla Carter, Booth Principal for 8 years says she is on board with the merger.  Carter will be Principal for Pre-K through 4th.  The students will now have 2 principals, 1 dean, 1 social worker, 2 nurses and over 15 qualified teachers.

McCarthy reiterated this was not a plan that was already in motion.  He also addressed multiple things that had been said on Social Media.

Two recurring questions were raised; where are you going to put all the students and why can’t students be bussed to Enfield to keep the building open. Questions were asked about the overflow buildings that have been placed behind the NCOE grade school. According to Vollman those were purchased due to the size of the 7th and 8th grade classes and will not be used for home rooms.

During questions a parent asked if a building had been purchased to house the pre-k in NC. According to sources, “Intent to Purchase Papers” have been signed and work has already started on the building. The building is being purchased for $95,000. The board stated that this was done after the June meeting but sources tell us that the building had been looked at by Matt Vollman 11 months prior to the board announcing the possible merger.

When asked if closing the school was already a done deal before the meetings were held, only two members of the board would comment by saying they agreed with the merger.

The NCOE school board held the second mandatory meeting on Saturday and we are told the meeting lasted well over 3 hours.

The NCOE school board will hold the final meeting on Thursday July 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the NCOE High School Auditorium.

We will have more on this story following Thursday’s meeting.

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3 comments
  1. Jane Miller
    Jane Miller
    July 11, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    My son goes to booth school and this is the first time of here any meeting or moving. Sounds like meeting were kept hushus. And they already made up the minds not telling parents.

    Reply
  2. John
    John
    July 11, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    The NCOE school website posted a notice on June 23rd about the upcoming meeting times and dates.

    Folks in the area better get used to things being a lot different than in the past. There simply are not enough tax dollars to keep old school buildings occupied. Get ready for a White County High School when funds to replace the NCOE high school building are not available. You heard it here first.

    Reply
  3. Kathy
    Kathy
    July 13, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    “sources tell us that the building had been looked at by Matt Vollman 11 months prior to the board announcing the possible merger.”

    Sources tell me this was for a different reason, as another entity wanted to purchase the superintendent’s office.

    Reply

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