Spavinaw School Could Close Permanently
SPAVINAW, Oklahoma - A Mayes County school is choosing to close its own doors.
Spavinaw School, a K-8 school, serves only 70 or so students this school year. Superintendent Christine Midgley said a survey revealed only 60 would return in the fall as more families are choosing to move elsewhere in the county, or even to Tulsa.
Low enrollment and state budget cuts led the school board to move forward with its proposal to annex the district. If voters approve their plan in June, students will be split up among Jay, Adair and Salina districts.
Parents like Samantha Curtis, whose daughter attends Head Start at Spavinaw School, saw the announcement coming.
"Just enrollment being down, it's just been going downhill," Curtis said.
Midgley said enrollment has been dropping over the last five years. Finally, after winter break, school leaders started seriously talking about annexation.
"It's kind of been in the back of everyone's mind for a while," she said. "Just because we have two grade levels for every class - that kind of thing."
One teacher even handles three different grades, and teaches all the subjects.
That's why Midgley believes this is the best move for Spavinaw, even though it means she and her teachers will be out of a job.
"Everyone's heart is here," Midgley said. "But, I just say, 'We need to think with our heads, not our hearts. What is best for these kids?'"
Midgley said she doesn't support any school annexation or consolidation mandated by the state, as proposed in Senate Bills 1382 and 1383, but said it is the right thing to do for this particular district.
Curtis, who attended Spavinaw herself, agreed.
"I think that kids need better education, they're not getting it down here," Curtis said. "They're just all bunched up in different grades and things, so it's hard for the kids to learn things."
The issue goes to a vote June 28.