Richmond School Board approves regional preschool

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Despite opposition, the Richmond City School Board approved a plan to combine five pre-k programs into one for the next school year.

Maymont Elementary will now be the sight of the regional pre-school center in September. Some parents say they're not opposed to the idea, but had hoped for more information about it before it was considered for approval.

Several parents took to the podium hoping to persuade school board members to take more time to develop the regional pre-school proposal. The vote was 8 to 1.

Board members called it a tough decision. Pre-k children from Cary, Munford, Fox, Clark Springs and the Preschool Development Center in Church Hill will move to Maymont in the fall. The project enrollment is more than 200.

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Maymont will move to Clark Springs Elementary. The district estimates the move would save the schools over $600,000. Supporters said the plan gives the district an opportunity to pool its resources in one building

Mary Margaret Park is a Munford parent. She had hoped to keep her three children together at one school.

"We moved to a neighborhood school because we wanted to be able to walk to school with the kids. Because we wanted to be able to ride bikes with them, and there's no way possible to take two of our children to Munford, one to Maymont; walk or ride ever," said Park.

"The issue of transportation is one I feel has still not been adequately studied and developed," said Trent Park.

"What we have here is not a proposal, but a collection of ideas. Not enough details or sufficient planning has occurred," said Max Baker.

The regional preschool will open in September. School administrators said they would meet soon with Maymont parents about the transition into Clark Springs.

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