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Flint school could soon be closing

Flint Community Schools is possibly considering closing Pierce Creative Arts Elementary School due to what officials call a structural deficit.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 9:27 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Flint Community Schools is possibly considering closing Pierce Creative Arts Elementary School due to what officials call a structural deficit.

Simone Walker, the parent of a first grader at Pierce said she panicked after receiving a message from parents advocating for students’ success, Pass for Short, a group formed in partnership with the school.

“Immediately, I was thinking what am I going to do now?” Walker said.

She said it was initially difficult for her son to acclimate to first grade, but that staff at Pierce made all the difference.

“When he started first grade, coming back into the classroom, it was really hard for him. His teacher, their support systems, the people in the office, the social workers, all banded together to make my son feel comfortable. He loves coming to school now,” Walker said.

She said Pierce has a specialized approach by employing a program designed to teach social emotional learning.

“Pierce does a really good job of just connecting with their kids and it shows in their test scores, it shows in low negative behavior, it shows in high attendance. That’s why I think pierce deserves to exist,” Walker said.

The Flint school board expects to discuss possible school closures during a meeting on Wednesday.

In a statement to TV5, Superintendent Kevelin Jones said:

“We remain committed to creating a high-quality learning environment in order to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of our scholars. This dedication to scholar achievement continues as Flint Community Schools reviews options to address its structural deficit and operate in a financially sustainable manner to create a strong future for the district. We will do all that we can to ensure that Flint families are supported amid any changes at the district. The community is invited to join a discussion regarding the district’s plan to address its structural deficit at the Community Relations Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, May 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Accelerated Learning Academy’s auditorium (1602 S. Averill Ave., Flint MI 48503). Information to join virtually can be found on the district’s website at FlintSchools.org.”

“Pierce closing would create a huge hole in the community,” Walker said.

She pointed to another vacated school.

“Flint Central, it’s just sitting there, becoming more dilapidated by the day, it attracts vandalism, and all types of destruction,” Walker said.

Walker hopes her voice is heard by the board for the community and for students at pierce.

“My son has become attached to this school,” Walker said.