School board has difficult decisions ahead

Published 6:50 am Monday, April 25, 2022

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We need to keep an open mind as the Natchez-Adams County School Board works through the challenges of choosing what schools, if any, should close and students be consolidated into other facilities.

The opening of the new Natchez High School will likely mean some of the older, more outdated facilities in the district are no longer needed to house students and can be closed, or put to other use.

Longtime school board member Phillip West said the board has not held formal discussions on the district’s schools, but surely each school board member has thought about this issue, and these discussions rightly are likely to come sooner, rather than later.

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In the past, critics of closing schools in the north area of Natchez said keeping schools close together creates transportation efficiencies and have said schools like Frazier Elementary and Robert Lewis Magnet School, which social media armchair quarterbacks have said are targeted for closure, are the cornerstone of the community.

Those arguments make sense for only one segment of our community — those who live in the north Natchez area. We are currently transporting children from all over Natchez out to Morgantown Middle School or to Robert Lewis Magnet School, both in north Natchez.

The new middle school will be located at the current Natchez High School site when the new high school opens sometime this fall. This move will create excellent transportation efficiencies.

The school board has some difficult decisions to make soon. They are not going to make every parent happy. We urge them to keep all of Natchez and Adams County children in mind while making these tough decisions.