GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon L. Contreras says she will make a recommendation to close Hampton Elementary School to the school board on Wednesday.
On Monday, Contreras talked about the Greensboro tornado that damaged three schools, including Hampton, on April 15, 2018. After the tornado, Hampton lost many students after parents enrolled them at other schools. Contreras said too few students remained enrolled.
Just a little over 100 Hampton students are currently at Reedy Fork Elementary, and Contreras said considering many 5th graders will also go to middle schools, the district expects even less next year.
"Many of the students who live in that neighborhood, already, the first year, decided to transfer to other schools and not move with Hampton to Reedy Fork," she explained. "We have questioned the parents again, many of them said they will not be returning to Hampton, making it very difficult to run a school with less than 50 students, which is what we’ve been projecting for the next year."
Since Hampton Elementary is a magnet school, Contreras said students are allowed to go to any school in their zone.
"Hampton students can go to a magnet school, they can go to Faulkner, Simkins, and several of them, quite a few of them have other neighborhood schools they can go to," she explained.
She added Reedy Fork also an option and that more than 10 families have already stated they will remain at Reedy Fork.
Contreras noted that although she will recommend for the school to close, "it does not mean Hampton will not be rebuilt" or repaired.
According to the superintendent, insurance settlements and negotiations for all three damaged schools are expected to be completed sometime this month.
She said the insurance company considers every single item lost in the building at time of disaster, "one by one."
In terms of what will happen to Hampton staff, Contreras says they are forted the right to other positions within the district and that there are positions available for those teachers and other staff.
Contreras said the principal from Hampton Elementary is becoming the principal at Wiley Elementary in Greensboro.
During the press conference, Contreras also said a recommendation will be made about the status of Gateway Education Center on Wednesday.
Contreras noted that a Superintendent cannot close a school per North Carolina state law. After a recommendation is presented, several hearings follow until a decision is made by the board.