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North Forest proposes major reductions in facilities

More school closures and consolidations are in the future for North Forest ISD.

Dr. Adrain Johnson, superintendent of schools, said that everyone in the community wants better schools, improved facilities and “quality programs executed by highly qualified, dedicated and passionate teachers.”

In order to realize the goal, he said sacrifices must be made.

“Our resources are stretched, and we will not be able to compete until we start making the best use of our facilities and funds,” Johnson said.

The school district plans to close facilities and create new attendance zones. During the 2009-10 school year, North Forest expects to operate one high school, two middle schools and five elementary campuses.

Specific changes include combining the district’s early childhood education program with one all-day, Pre-K program at Thurgood Marshall Elementary. Lakewood and W.E. Rogers Elementaries will be closed. A new elementary school will open at the facility that now houses Oak Village Middle School.

R.E. Kirby will also be closed. The district plans to use the former Forest Brook High School campus to house middle school students.

Johnson added that the district would be rezoned to “redistribute and rebalance enrollment among the district’s schools.” The Learning Academy, which houses this Suburban Street facility, will be closed and the program will be moved to another site, which has not be announced.

This relocation and closure plan is pending school board approval.