In the monthly meeting of the El Dorado School Board, members voted to relocate the students of Retta Brown to the remaining three elementary schools – Hugh Goodwin, Northwest, and Yocum.
Superintendent Jim Tucker recommended the relocation of these students due to steadily declining enrollment at Retta Brown. Over the last few years, student enrollment at the school has decreased from 211 in 2016-17 to 83 this school year. Mr. Tucker explained that the school will not close because it will still be used for the Gifted & Talented Program, but relocating the Kindergarten through 4th grade students would be beneficial for both students and teachers.
Students and teachers will have the opportunity to engage in learning with more resources, programs and a diverse student body at the other schools.
“No jobs will be lost in this transition,” said Mr. Tucker. “The district has been placing a strong focus on Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s). By moving the teachers from Retta Brown to other schools, they will have colleagues at the same grade level to collaborate with, to learn from, to share their ideas and to truly utilize the PLC process. PLC’s have been proven to make the learning process better for students,” Mr. Tucker continued. Currently, Retta Brown only has one teacher per grade level, making it difficult for teachers to share ideas, practices, and resources.
Parents of Retta Brown students will be given an opportunity to express their preference for which school their child is relocated to for the 2020-21 school year.
“I love Retta Brown and all the work the teachers and staff have done there, the improvement and gains students have made there are a direct reflection on the staff at Retta Brown. I look forward to seeing the students continue those gains in academic achievement.” said Mr. Tucker, who is a former principal of the school. “We plan to maintain the building for our GT program and in hopes that one day we could use it in the future.”