USA v. G'wood Public Sch

Filing 37

ORDER granting 36 Joint Motion for reopening of school. Signed by District Judge Sharion Aycock on 7/21/2017. (dbm)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI GREENVILLE DIVISION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. PLAINTIFF CIVIL ACTION NO: 4:66-CV-40-SA-JMV GREENWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT DEFENDANT ORDER GRANTING EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL RELIEF REGARDING REOPENING OF SCHOOL ON THIS DAY, this cause came on for consideration in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, on the Greenwood Municipal Separate School District’s and the United States’ Joint Petition for Emergency Supplemental Relief Regarding Reopening of School and Expedited Ruling, and this Court, after being fully advised of the reasons for the Joint Petition, finds and orders as follows: 1. The Greenwood Municipal Separate School District presently consists of one high school (Greenwood High), one middle school (Greenwood Middle), an alternative school (Greenwood Alternative School), a career and technical center (Greenwood Vocational Center), and three elementary schools (Bankston, Davis, and Threadgill Elementary Schools.) Each elementary school serves kindergarten through sixth grade, excluding Threadgill, which serves pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. W. C. Williams Elementary School, a former elementary school within the District, was closed with this Court’s permission in the summer of 2015. (Order of June 30, 2015, ECF Doc. 35.) 2. In early 2017, the District’s Board of Trustees authorized the superintendent to explore and work toward reopening the former W. C. Williams Elementary School. 3. As a result of its investigation, the District determined that reopening the former W. C. Williams Elementary School would have the following positive effects on Threadgill Elementary School: (1) alleviate the overcrowding, (2) provide greater access and participation in schoolwide assemblies, (3) reduce the number of breakfast and lunch rotations needed to accommodate all students, (4) expand the number of pre-kindergarten students served within the District, (5) alleviate congestion at bus pickups and drop offs, (6) enable students to be housed with their ageappropriate peers, and (7) enable administration to provide targeted and focused instructional supervision. 4. As a part of this initiative, the District held a series of meetings seeking community input about the prospective reopening of W. C. Williams Elementary School. There was overwhelming support from stakeholders who attended these meetings. 5. In April 2017, the District contacted the United States Department of Justice to ascertain whether the United States would have any objection to reopening the former W. C. Williams Elementary School to enroll students in pre-kindergarten through first grade who are currently zoned to attend Threadgill Elementary School. The Department advised the District that it did not object to reopening W. C. Williams Elementary School for students in those three grades based on the reasons the District had provided and the applicable desegregation law and orders in this case. 6. The reopening of the former W. C. Williams Elementary School would be in the best interest of those children, parents, staff, administrators, and other stakeholders who will be affected by said reopening. IT IS THEREFORE, ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED THAT: (1) the Greenwood Public School District’s and United States’ joint petition to reopen the former W. C. Williams Elementary School to enroll students in grades pre-kindergarten through first grade is approved effective immediately; (2) students in the second through sixth grades will remain at Threadgill Elementary School; (3) said actions are not inconsistent with the United States Constitution, applicable federal desegregation laws, or orders in this case; and (4) that all other previous orders of this Court, except as modified herein, shall remain in full force and effect. SO ORDERED on this the 21st day of July, 2017. /s/ Sharion Aycock UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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