SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Some Caddo Parish parents say they’re trying to save their children’s school.
“It’s a small school, but it’s our school,” said Lisa Baker, whose grandson attends Jack P. Timmons Elementary.
For the nearly 300 students who attend class at Timmons, the school is a family.
“Timmons is basically like their home away from home,” said one parent. “They spend more time at school than they do at home, normally.”
A group of concerned parents gathered Thursday to discuss a proposed plan to close the school.
In a presentation to Board Members on Tuesday, Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools, outlined a proposal that would close Arthur Circle Elementary, Jack P. Timmons Elementary, and Mooretown Elementary. As a result, Mooretown students would attend Oak Park Elementary starting this fall while Jack P. Timmons students, who are often on some of the longest bus routes in the district, would attend schools closer to their homes including Blanchard Elementary, Donnie Bickham Middle, Walnut Hill Elementary/Middle, and Turner Elementary/Middle.
The parents said they learned about the proposal from the news media.
“It’s not only that we love our school, but I think we should have had plenty of notification in order to better prepare,” said Baker.
The group said they reached out to the school board and are not satisfied with the results. They have not received a response from school or district leaders.
One of their main concerns is the potential loss of specialized programs, like those for hearing impaired students and occupational and physical therapy, which aren’t available at all other schools.
“Timmons has, and these ladies will all agree with me, has the best programs for special needs,” said Baker. “Which, my grandson is in.”
In the proposed plan, students who attend the pre-K to fifth-grade campus would be transferred to a school closer to their homes, which in some cases could be a middle school.
“For a fourth-grader, I don’t agree with that,” said Baker.
The parents said they just want the school board’s vote postponed until their voices are heard.
The parents have started an online petition to save their school. Their goal is 500 signatures.
They plan to present it to the school board before their vote June 9.
At this time, the Board is scheduled to vote in a special session meeting on June 9 via Zoom. The public will have the ability to speak during the Board meeting or may submit comments in advance to email@example.com to be read into the minutes of the meeting.