Moss Point school realignment moves forward

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Major changes may soon take place at elementary schools in Moss Point. The school board and a federal judge have each approved plans to realign grades in the district.

Superintendent Kim Staley told the huge crowd at Thursday's school board meeting that the realignment plan will move forward.

"We are looking at this as a win-win," Staley said.

The district plans to close Orange Lake Elementary and Charlotte Hyatt Elementary this school year, dropping the number of elementary schools in the district could drop from six to four.

"We will have grade level schools. One school will be pre-K and Kindergarten. We will have one school for first and second grade, one school will be third and fourth, and one school is fifth and sixth," Staley said about the proposed plan.

Parents Brandy Peek and Tabitha Vice don't like the change. They have kids that attend Escatawpa Elementary.

"I am not happy at all. Because if I stay in this school district, I will have to go to three schools each morning and pick them up," Vice said.

"People are going to pack up, and they are going to leave, or they are going to pull out of the school system," Peek said.

Superintendent Staley and several school board members said they understand the parents' frustrations and concerns, but they feel the changes will save the district money and better educate kids.

"This is not the board's decision. What we are trying to do is give the best education for the kids. Sometimes it is not easy, but nothing in life is easy," Board President Charles Wesley said.

Staley is hoping the realignment gets final approval before the school year starts in August. If it's approved, the district will save more than $1 million by closing the two elementary schools.  The district is still working on new bus routes, and Staley says kids' pick up times could change by 15 minutes.

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