Scottsboro City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jay Reyes recently held several public meetings regarding school population declines and options for the future of the system.

Reyes spoke regarding school reconfiguration. He began as he did previously by explaining the change in city population. He explained that no decision has been made, he has not made a recommendation and the school board has not voted on anything. This presentation was simply a response to a question he was asked on how to provide quality education and do the very best with school finances. Reyes continued through the presentation explaining the number of students and the decline in the students, as well as the estimate of future enrollment. Reyes explained that the population grew in the city by 58 percent between 1970 and 1980, which resulted in the Junior High being built. In 1980, approximately 3,500 students were enrolled in Scottsboro’s six schools. However, currently there are only approximately 2,491 students enrolled in the system. On average each year eight-tenths (0.8) of one percent of the population has left the area each year over the past ten years. Reyes also explained that population is at a standstill but less children are being born.
He continued to explained that if any of the scenarios given are recommended and approved, staff would not be cut.  He further explained that the High School, Collins and Caldwell were the three schools that could not be walked away from. He stated, “What if the junior high didn’t exist?  What if Caldwell had K-1? What if at Nelson you have 2-3 grades and 4-5 grades at Brownwood?  Collins 6-8?  Which number concerns me the most?  Nelson.
Because we are busting out the seams. I don’t like that kids move every two years. What I do like is all grades are together. Currently it’s not as cohesive as it needs to be.
“Reyes explained that by combining grades it also provides for smaller classroom sizes. However, he continued with another scenario.
Reyes stated what if the fifth graders did come to Collins? I could live with that. Transportation wouldn’t be a problem. To me, all of these are options, but to me personally I like that one the best. (Speaking of moving Junior High students to Collins). I like this one because the Junior High building can be used for community organizations. One concern has been placing fifth graders with eighth graders. But, as the parent of a daughter, are you more concerned with a fifth grader being with eighth graders or ninth graders in the same building as seniors? Reyes explained that eventually grades do need to be together, but his concern right now is providing the very best academic programs as well as a variety of quality athletics, fine arts and extra curricular activities.
During the question and answer session, Reyes explained even if new jobs were created in the area, the system still has room for approximately 1,000 students. He also explained that they really need to get back into fifth and sixth grade to offer band and fine arts. Reyes stated children in fifth through eighth grade would be offered much more than they currently are being offered. He also explained that a change as simple as moving 7th and 8th graders to Collins could be implemented as soon as the fall, if that is the recommendation and it is approved by the Board.

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