Southside-Ashpole must stay open; parents deservs details of ISD plan

To the Editor,

My daughter is in pre-K at Southside-Ashpole Elementary. What happens at that school will have a significant impact on her and many other students in Rowland. Their education and future opportunities are at stake; I cannot allow anyone to put that in jeopardy.

I know I am not alone; other parents feel the same way. That is why we need to be careful about what happens next at Southside-Ashpole. Do we trust that the Innovative School District can help turn things around and improve the school or do we let the Public Schools of Robeson County close it? Those are the choices. Our voices will drive that decision.

Yes, there are issues at Southside-Ashpole that need to be addressed. It is considered a low-performing school and it has been for a while. That breaks my heart; our children deserve better. I feel like we are a community that’s been left behind.

Is the Innovative School District the answer? Maybe, but I don’t know. I’d like to see a plan to get a better understanding of what they intend to do to improve student performance. I’ve heard that the plan will be developed in partnership with the community and the school operator once the school board approves the transfer of Southside-Ashpole to the ISD. I can understand that to an extent, but before I can voice my full support, I need more details.

The alternative is to close the school. I don’t like that option. My daughter deserves to be able to learn, achieve, and grow in her local community … in Rowland. Our town needs Southside-Ashpole. It is an important part of our community, and it would be a tremendous loss if it is closed.

Melissa Ocean