SPS to decide Campbell Elementary's fate

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo - On Tuesday, the Springfield Public School (SPS) Board of Education will announce whether it will close Campbell Elementary School, or keep it open.

"In Oct., the Board of Education asked the administration to make recommendations on any buildings that have declining enrollment and low enrollment and to take action on those immediately," said Stephen Hall, the Chief Communications Officer at SPS, when asked about why changes are being made. He added, "the administration conducted an investigation and found one facility that fit and it was Campbell elementary."

The elementary school, located at Grant Ave. and Mt. Vernon street, has seen a 29% drop in enrollment the past 10 years and only 130 students enrolled. According to Hall, the administration recommends closing Campbell elementary and merging the students and teachers with McGregor Elementary.

"Right now there is only one grade per building level at Campbell, so there is limited opportunities for students to be moved from one classroom to the next based on needs. There is also opportunities for teacher to collaborate so we believe that consolidating these two schools helps to address the declining enrollment issue and to improve the environment for all," Hall said.

But, one local organization said it is against the proposed changes.

"Campbell we think is the heart of the neighborhood on the north side and should be continued," said Dr. Roy Holand.

Holand is retired and now part of the Committee to Save R-12 Schools. He says the schools numbers speak for themselves.

"It is the most improved school because it has gone from the number 31 school in the district up to number nine," he said. Holland also said smaller enrollment helps students.

"Having a smaller school is one of the things that enables kids in higher risk and high poverty school. Campbell is a 90% free and reduced lunch, yet those kids are succeeding because of great faculty and great parental support," he said.

If the Board of Education votes to close Campbell Elementary, the district plans to use the building for daycare services that would be able to accommodate 200 children.

Holand and the Committee to Save R-12 Schools says it will hold a protest before tomorrow's school board meeting.

The Board of Education will meet at 5:30p.m. on Tues. at the Craft Administrative Center off E. St. Louis Street.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.