Editor's note: In the wake of the recent defeat of the New Madrid County R-1 School District bond issue, District Supt. Dr. Mike Barnes has issued the following statement:
It is my understanding that there are any number of rumors being "floated around" regarding what action, if any, the R-1 Board is going to take in response to the recent defeat of its elementary consolidation proposal. In an attempt to quell those rumors, and to hopefully set peoples' minds at rest, I thought it might be helpful for me to provide our patrons with a sense of where I think the district is headed.
It was obvious from the election results that our patrons want to keep the district's three elementary sites open and that they are equally concerned about our youngest students being transported long distances to school. That being the case, I feel certain that the board fully intends to continue to operate Pre-K to fifth grade elementary schools at Lilbourn, New Madrid and Matthews into the foreseeable future.
I'm also certain that my staff and I will be recommending to the Board that Parma's Pre-K to fifth grade students will be moved to Lilbourn Elementary beginning with the 2003-04 school year. While that move will do little to reduce operating costs, it will result in a dramatic reduction of "ride time" for Parma area youngsters.
People also need to know that, contrary to persistent rumors, there has been no mention of any change in the district's current elementary program for the remainder of this school year.
The election results speak for themselves. Our patrons can be assured that the members of the R-1 Board will continue to be committed to doing their best to serve the district's students and patrons.