Proposed plan would turn Jenkins-White Elementary School into a Literacy and Math Center


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- More parents learned about a plan that would move their children to new schools at a public hearing Thursday night. Earlier this week, we reported on a proposed plan from the Richmond County School System that would would shut down two under-capacity elementary schools and convert the buildings to different types of learning centers.

Under the plan, Craig-Houghton Elementary students would transfer to Hornsby Elementary. Thursday night, parents of Jenkins-White Elementary students learned more about a plan that would send their kids to WIlkinson Gardens Elementary.

Enrollment at Jenkins-White elementary school has dwindled in recent years. Right now, it has 313 students, but the building was constructed for 525 students, according to the Richmond County School System.

The school district is proposing moving Jenkins-White’s students to Wilkinson Gardens Elementary School about a mile away.

“We also are keeping in mind student achievement,” said Richmond County Schools Superintendent Dr. Angela Pringle.

The plan would also take third through fifth graders who are two or more years behind in reading in math and place them in a Literacy and Math Center, which would be housed in the building that currently houses Jenkins-White.

Nifateria Childs has a fourth grader at a Literacy Center, and she says it’s done wonders for him.

“His test scores went up. His reading level went up,” she said. “The teachers are awesome. The principal is awesome, so I’m whole-heartedly in agreement with the Math and Literacy Center.”

She also has a second-grader at Jenkins-White.

“I think it’ll be an adjustment for the kids,” she said.

But she says overall, Childs thinks the plan is a good idea.

“I just wish the best for the kids, and I’m looking forward to the change. I’m looking forward to a new school year,” she said. “If in fact they do change the school systems and it’s a go, then I’m all for it.”

Dr. Pringle says the plan would use the school system’s money more efficiently, saving taxpayers $2.5 million. She says it’s expensive to maintain a full support staff for a school that’s short more than 200 students.

The school system will take input from parents into account when making a final recommendation to the Board of Education, which will make a decision in March.

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