ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education made the decision to close two elementary schools Monday night.
Enochville Elementary and Faith Elementary will permanently close in June at the end of the school year.
“Faith and Enochville, when you have numbers in the 200 range for students in an elementary school, that’s extremely small," said Associate Superintendent Anthony Vann. “We have 5000 empty seats across our district and for us that’s huge. 5000 empty seats is a lot of space that we are not utilizing.”
The number of empty seats reflects what was happening prior to the pandemic when students were attending in-person classes five days a week.
After the schools close, students will be transferred to other schools.
“There is no plan to lay off or for have any staff that will lose their jobs…our plan is to reassign staff to adjacent schools,” Vann added.
The school district says it will save $500,000 a year per school by closing. He also said that by closing the schools, it moves the district’s utilization rate up from approximately 75% to 83-84% By comparison, the utilization rate for the neighboring Cabarrus County School system is projected to be 92%.
School officials at Enochville Elementary posted on Facebook about the decision Monday night.
“While the news may be heavy on our hearts, we are excited at the new opportunities and friendships our wise owls will have. We will continue to put our students first and concentrate on making this a great year. We will work to prepare students to transition to new schools next year. We appreciate all the parent and community support,” the post read.
“All my grandkids went there. It’s been a great school here in the community and I really hate to see it close," said Enochville grandparent Teresa Laney. “I’ve got a grandson that just started kindergarten this year so next year will be a whole transformation for him, so I hate to see it go.”