22 September 2023
STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A few hundred Stokes County parents, teachers and students packed the South Stokes High School Gym Thursday night to discuss a school consolidation plan presented by school leaders.
It would include the closure of three elementary schools in a less populated area of the county; Pinnacle, Pine Hall and Lawsonville.
If the consolidation plan is approved, current Pinnacle Elementary students will attend King Elementary or Mount Olive Elementary Schools. Lawsonville students would be sent to Sandy Ridge Elementary or Nancy Elementary Schools. Pine Hall would be transferred to Walnut Cove Elementary or London Elementary Schools.
Several parents and teachers said that they’re worried about how far their children would have to travel to get to school. Stokes County Parent, Sandra Martin, says she’s worried about overcrowded classrooms.
“I’m glad to know that London Elementary is not closing down, but the fact that there’s going to be a new influx of children, hopefully, they can get some help with teachers and class sizes won’t be too big and everybody can learn and continue to prosper,” Martin said.
According to Stokes County Superintendent Brad Rice, the three reasons behind the closures are reduced services, the struggle to maintain 19 schools and a steady decline in enrollment, which equals a loss in tax dollars spent on schools.
Rice says the school board plans to build a new King Elementary School on the same property where the current one is as part of the proposal. The Stokes County School board will have a work session on Oct. 2 and a regular session on October 16.