MPSD announces plans for Carver Middle School to be new Central Office

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Meridian School Board announced its plans for Carver Middle School in a special called meeting Thursday.

“We took time during the final semester or the spring semester of this school year to look at enrollment numbers and to look at staffing needs for the upcoming year. Carver Middle School happened to be the middle school with the lowest enrollment and the highest number of teacher vacancies for the upcoming year. We could educate over 2,300 students across our three middle school campuses, but we were only educating a little less than 1,000. It just made good sense to go ahead and offer equal opportunities for all of our students across 2 middle schools instead of stretching our resources across three,” said Meridian Superintendent Dr. Amy Carter.

A local group in Meridian, the Carver Community Coalition, has mixed feelings about the news that the middle school will become the new central office for the district. The coalition wanted the school to continue being used to educate students.

Carver Middle School will soon be George Washington Carver Central Office, as members of the Meridian School Board voted in favor of the plans for the building.

Members of the Carver Community Coalition said it’s more than just fighting to keep the building open, and they’re asking the school board one question, why Carver?

“This is not a fight, it’s a stand. And the stand is because I have a relationship with school board members. I expect certain things from people that I hold accountable. Just like we are accountable to the community and to the students here, they are accountable to us, to the people. They’ve not been that way, and they’ve not included us. I’m hurt. We’re bleeding and we’re hurt because they didn’t think enough of us to even ask our opinion,” said Carver Community Coalition member, Casandra Sloan.

The mission of the Carver Community Coalition is to raise awareness and activism among students, parents, educators and supporters who desire to keep Carver Middle School open.

“This school also serves students that live in public housing and so that means that in this entire quadrant of the city, these children do not have a community school. They will have to be bused to the other side of town, to either Magnolia or Northwest. There are issues with transparency in this process. I think the biggest thing is the community is insulted that they weren’t brought in to even ask their opinion. It has always been a dictate from the school board that this is what we’ve decided, and this is what’s going to happen,” said Carver Community Coalition member, Tracey Clark Washington.

Dr. Carter responded to that concern.

“One of the ideas were the concerns that the coalition expressed, was being able to preserve the history of Carver and within becoming the Central Office building. I’m proud to say that I believe Carver Middle School, Carver, now Central Office building, will remain and outlast some of our other facilities. I hope it addresses the needs and the concerns that our community members expressed. I want to applaud them again for speaking up and being a part of letting us know what their concerns were, and more importantly, I want to encourage them to continue to let their voices be heard,” said Dr. Carter.

The school board also showed designs of improvements planned for Magnolia and Northwest middle schools.

The district plans to schedule an election for the bond issue for Aug. 9. The public will have a voice at the ballot box to decide whether or not to approve the school district’s plans.

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