Parents concerned for possible closure of Linville-Edom Elementary

Blackburn said more than 250 of these signs have been given out to community members.
Blackburn said more than 250 of these signs have been given out to community members.(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 24, 2019 at 7:46 PM EST
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Among some of the changes that could come to Rockingham County Public Schools, some parents of Linville-Edom Elementary are concerned about the potential closing of their children's school in 2021.

At a school board meeting earlier this month it was announced that Linville-Edom Elementary may shut down rather than renovating the almost 80-year-old school.

In the past week, "Keep LEES Open," blue yard signs have been popping up around the county, and the parents who created them said it is for change they don't want to see happen.

"We have a very strong school, a thriving school that's won awards and our kids are doing awesome here," Jane Blackburn, Co-President of the schools PTO, said. "We don't understand why anyone would close our school."

Blackburn said her and other parents have been gathering community members to bring more awareness to the change that could come.

"This past Wednesday we had a community action meeting just to bring everybody together, we had so many community members reach out to us including the Linville-Edom Ruritan club and other groups, " Blackburn said. "We wanted to bring everybody together to get on the same page. "

WHSV did reach out to Dr. Oskar Scheikl, Superintendent of the school district, who said renovating the school could cost more than $8 million. Dr.Scheikl said the decision not to renovate could save the district money that may be needed elsewhere.

Dr.Scheikl emphasized that the school board is in the public comment phase and has not made a decision yet. Parents like Blackburn are encouraging other parents to show up to the upcoming school board meetings.

"The Broadway people need to be at our December 9th meeting to see what's happening," Blackburn said. "Everyone can see how it affects us, I think Dr.Scheikl is kind of catering each of these meetings to the community of where they are, so go to your meeting."

Tuesday night's meeting will be the second of five community meetings for the community to provide input, and Scheikl said a decision will be made in January or as late as February.

The community meeting dates are:

Nov. 25 — Grottoes Volunteer Fire Department

Dec. 9 — Broadway High School

Jan. 27 — Keezletown Ruritan Hall

Feb. 10 — Bridgewater Town Hall