On the Beaufort County School District website are the criteria a task force is using to select a school or schools for closing next year to save money.
Port Royal Elementary School does not meet enough of the criteria to even be considered, but it was mysteriously added to the list of possible closings in May, and now it is to be recommended for closing.
Port Royal Elementary has consistently met or exceeded Adequate Yearly Progress every year and has received awards for academic achievement. Eighty percent of the building is less than 10 years old. If the school is closed, the land reverts to the town of Port Royal; the district will not be able to sell it.
This seems to be a move by someone with a hidden agenda. So much for transparency in our school government. Who placed Port Royal Elementary on the list and why? What is the justification of choosing it over other schools rightly selected to be on the list?
Port Royal Elementary will celebrate 100 years of service to the community this fall. Is this how we are going to celebrate, by shutting it down? Why is the task force allowed to ignore the established criteria? Back-channel deals behind closed doors need to be stopped.
The students, parents, staff and community deserve better than this. Closing Port Royal Elementary is not in the best interests of the students or the school district. If you agree, let it be known loudly and often.
John W. O'Connell Jr.