Jones Valley now a middle school, Oxmoor to be elementary - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Jones Valley now a middle school, Oxmoor to be an elementary school

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

 

More Birmingham City School employees are learning they won't have a job this fall. School closings and consolidations translated into the loss of several positions and salary cutbacks.  The shift in school campuses means a big adjustment for students, teachers, and parents. 

Monday night board members made another consolidation. Jones Valley K-8 is now a middle school and the elementary students will move to the new Oxmoor Elementary campus. But that decision wasn't an easy one.

"I don't think it's a good idea," a parent said at the meeting Monday. "They really need to let the kids stay where they're at now."

"I have to get a son one direction, I have to get a daughter another direction, both by the same time," Jameria Ogunmakin, a parent said on Monday.

Monday night, parents told us, they didn't like the move from Jones Valley to Oxmoor, but school leaders say, it comes down to overcrowding. 

"We're almost 200 students over capacity at Jones Valley," a school employee said.

Superintendent, Dr. Craig Witherspoon told us the new Oxmoor school needs those Jones Valley students. Oxmoor doesn't have enough enrolled and if they didn't have more children, they wouldn't be able to offer extracurriculars like art, and music.

"The larger impact is that as we are funded primarily by the state, that doesn't leave a lot of room for any extras if you will," Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon said. "The general music, the arts."

Emmanuel Ford voted no on the move. His concern is that families will leave the district.

"At the meeting Monday night, I heard a lot of concerns with parents speaking to them one on one," Emmanuel Ford, board member said. "When you have one child and one school, and one at another school, I'm really concerned that based on the comments, we will lose more students."

Some central office staff will be reduced and some employees may be facing a salary reduction. But school leaders say, no teachers will be cut.

"Again, trying to push resources more into schools so that we have the fine arts, we have those things," Dr. Witherspoon said.

Principals and staff members impacted by the consolidations are still waiting to find out where they will be relocated and whether they can keep their current salary. Those decisions are expected before school ends in about a week.

 

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