Spring Hill, Maple prepare for first day after board votes to cl - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Spring Hill, Maple prepare for first day after board votes to close both schools

Spring Hill elementary school (Source: WAVE 3 News) Spring Hill elementary school (Source: WAVE 3 News)

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - It’s a bittersweet start for two Greater Clark County elementary schools. In early July, the school board voted to close Maple and Spring Hill. On Thursday, they will start what could be their last school year.

“We're a very important part of the community, when we leave they will miss us,” Spring Hill Elementary School Principal Virenda Cunningham-Lester said.

Since the 1960s, Spring Hill and Maple elementary schools have stood the test of time in Jeffersonville. Longtime Spring Hill teacher Lisa Carter knows the day the doors are locked for good will be pretty emotional.

“We've cut our teeth in teaching here, so it will be,” Carter said.

Staff at both schools will welcome students back Thursday making the most out of the time that's left.

“We've thought about a lot of fun things to do with the kids to really celebrate Maple and all of things that we brought to the community,” Maple Elementary Principal Denise Ellnor said.

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“We're excited about the year, we are going to do the same great things that we have always done,” Maple Elementary Academic Improvement Coordinator Susan Ward said. 

The Greater Clark County School Board voted to shut down the two schools in early July due to high operating costs and low enrollment. Maple will welcome back just over 200 students and Spring Hill has 140 students enrolled this year.

There are two scenarios for what could happen next. Consolidation is one option. Students would be transferred to already established elementary schools, Bridgepoint for Maple and North Haven for Spring Hill. That would start next year.

“If they have to be bused to another school, that's always a worry because a lot of our kids walk to the functions,” Spring Hill teacher Mindy Riley said.

The other option, and one all of the educators WAVE 3 News talked to prefer, is building a new downtown school.

“It's not the building that makes us Maple, it's the people are who in the building and we are still going to have everybody together no matter where we are located,” Ellnor said.

“We support a downtown elementary school. Spring Hill supports it. The kids deserve a new downtown school,” Cunningham-Lester said.

If the district decides to build a new school, both elementary schools will be able to stay in their buildings until construction is complete.

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