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  • Writer's pictureNettie Webb


Updated: Mar 25

As administration and the school board claims they've listened to the community, let's uncover the reality behind Lynchburg City Schools' so-called "extensive community engagement."

Lynchburg City Schools boasts extensive community engagement, but let's unwrap the reality.

There were four public meetings. Four.

They were held during the summer when not all families are in the city.

They were not held at a time when all families were off work and could attend.

There was no transportation or childcare provided to make it accessible for all families.

For a district serving such a large number of students below the poverty line these considerations should have been a priority.

Now, flashback to the '90s when Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Rodger Jones, led the charge for community input. Gathering feedback through surveys and 35 open public meetings—in the process of designing the programs for the city’s innovation programs.

Even if we forget the lack of community engagement, the city has ignored nearly all of the feedback they were given in the meetings and on their survey.

Between the survey and meetings, 70% of the community chose scenario 1 to close Fort Hill, convert Heritage Elementary School into a new alternative school, and rebuild Sandusky. In this, they stated they wanted to invest in public education, to keep small classes, and to keep small schools.

If we look at how scenario 3 compared in support, it was the third lowest, out of four, for parents, community members, and staff. It had over 20% less support than the two scenarios above it.

They’ve ignored parents, the community, and staff for their own haphazard, incomplete, and lacking plan. School board members’ hubris is forcing the district down a path of destruction.

Multiple members have openly admitted that they believe all they are there to do is cut funds and make the hard decisions that those concerned about kids won’t make. They do not actually care about the direction of public education.

We must continue to join together, to make our voices heard, and to make sure they finally listen to us and do what’s best for kids.

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