Scottsboro Board of Education superintendent, Dr. Reyes, began the Board of Education meeting last week by stating,  “I want you to think about the past and the future.

Two things that people hate the most, number one is the way things are and number two is change. Think about that.  We’ve been talking about population for about three months now. We’ve given presentations on population. Last time, the question from the board was, “What do we do about this?” I started thinking and getting ideas.  Here’s the thing, when you start thinking, you have to make a decision.  I think our goals should be to provide our students with the very best academic program we can provide them. That is why we’re here. This presentation is a response to a question. I’ve been giving our board members numbers and their question was, what do we do about this? This presentation is not a recommendation. Understand it is not a recommendation, it’s an opportunity for thought.”
Reyes went on to say, “In 1954, the City of Scottsboro took over the school system. Caldwell had first through sixth  grade,  Central had grades seven through nine, and Jackson County High School housed 10 through 12. In 1961, Brownwood became the second elementary school and was first through sixth grades.  The seniors of 1968, were the first class that went over to Legion Drive to the old High School. At that time, Caldwell and Brownwood became grades kindergarten through fifth grades. Page became grades sixth through eighth and the high school became ninth through twelfth.  Believe it or not, in 1972-1973, can you believe that there were 875 students in grades sixth, seventh and eighth.
“In 1975-1976, the Junior High came on the stage, now you have Caldwell and Brownwood who have turned into a K-fourth school,  Page is now fifth and sixth ,the  Junior High is seventh and eighth  and the High School is ninth through twelfth. Between the years of 1970  and 1980 the population of Scottsboro grew 58.3 percent. That is astronomical, that doesn’t happen.  In 1979, 1980, at the end of that decade, we added a third elementary school, Nelson. In 1999, we opened up the new high school. Junior High was still 7-8 and now Collins was 5-6, Nelson, Brownwood and Caldwell stayed the same and this building becomes the Page Administration Building at some point. Now I want you to notice something. Brownwood did not have an annual forever and ever and ever. Dr. Spears allowed me to go into a storage closet and I pulled out 1980-1981 (records), I counted myface and everyone else’s faces. Did you know  that between 1980-1981, there were between 3400 and 3500 students in the Scottsboro City School System. Where are we at now? 2,491.  Our average increase/decrease since 2007-2008 is eight-tenths of a percent over 11 years. I chose 2007-2008 because by that time, what was gone? Bellefonte, Widow’s Creek, Revere, Norandal, everything we ever had, was gone by that time,” Reyes said.
Right now Brownwood is at about 284 or 285 kids as of today. At Caldwell in 1979-1980,  there were 602 kids in that annual. Caldwell is at 391 right now. Nelson in 1981-1982, I don’t know what happened, they had a loss of about 100 around 1984-1986. From 1995-1996, Nelson went up and Brownwood went up and Caldwell went down? There was a rezone, because of student population change. Nelson is running steady at 263. Collins at one time had a lot now they  are down 2.1 percent over the last ten years. They are now at  342. Now the Junior High, once 597 students, they’re now at 409, if you do the average, they’re losing four-tenths of a percent  per year. I feel that’s when we’re starting to get some out of district students. The High School is at 807, a six-thenths of a percent  increase, with over 1,000 in the mid 1970’s. there were 900 up until about 1990, and things started going down, but have gained about 6 kids per year in the past ten years.  The Junior High can hold 600, but I put 500, Collins  can hold 1,000, Nelson can hold about 420, Brownwood can hold 450, Caldwell can hold about 600. We can’t change what’s happening, we can react. Demographics have changed. Out of district students, there are 112 at the High School, 42 at the Junior High, 29 at Collins, 23 at Nelson, 61 at  Brownwood. Brownwood is 22 percent out of district, Nelson is 8.7 percent, Collins is 8.5 percent, Junior High is 10.3 percent out of district and the high school is almost 14 percent out of district.”
 I need you to know that my central office staff have been talking about this for two months. Right now, we have options. We can do nothing, here’s another choice, what if the Junior High did not exist anymore? Can we hold 362 at Brownwood, we can. Can we hold 424 at Caldwell, 355 at Nelson?  We can. Collins, 538, they can hold 500 more. We have to protect our teachers. We are supposed to lose 3.53 units. We will do that by retirement and attrition. I have the number of students in each grade, notice I put K-1 together, 2-3 together, 4-5 together and 6- 8 together.
    Reyes discussed the number of nurses, custodians and other resources that could be provided for each school that are already on staff, many of whom split their days between schools.  Reyes stated that with one less building, that’s $75,000-$80,000 savings just on electricity. Reyes discussed the additional classes and services that can be offered by combining. Where do we go from here? This is for discussion, not a recommendation.
   Reyes ended by stating, “I want the people in the community to make their concern about what is best for students, not  I’ve always taught in room 304, for 20 years.  It’s about what’s best for our students.  Right now things are going to run like it is” 

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