A large majority of junior high and elementary students in Morehouse Parish will attend a new school after returning from their Christmas break.

The Morehouse Parish School Board voted Tuesday evening to close Henry V. Adams and place those students at Morehouse Junior High Campus, close Pine Grove, placing them at the Delta Campus and move seventh and eighth grade students to Bastrop High School. The vote did not come easily or without contention and harsh words from members of the board toward other members.

District 7 Board Member Rose Thompson stood over District 5 Member Chip Rawls as the vote was taken and expressed her thoughts that Rawls should not even vote, as he did not live in his district. Both Thompson and Rawls left the meeting following the four to three vote in favor of the plan.

The Consolidation Proposal, presented by Business Manager Ersula Downs, begins with a reduction in force, which follows the policy set forth in the school board’s policy handbook, which states the criteria for termination as follows:

Professional Staff

Any teacher who is not certified and highly qualified within the targeted subject area or areas of certification to be reduced shall be reduced first.

Within each targeted subject area or area of certification, the least effective teacher, and then proceeding by effectiveness rating as determined by the performance evaluation program as provided in La R.S. 17:3881 through 3905 shall be reduced until the reduction in force has been accomplished.

Employees Other Than Professional Staff

School employees who are not evaluated pursuant to La R.S. 17:3881 through 3905 shall be reduced upon the following criteria:

Performance and effectiveness as determined by Board policy.

Certification or academic preparation, if applicable.

Delta will have a total of 639 students and 25 teachers for grades kindergarten through sixth grade. There will be five kindergarten classes; four first grade classes; five second grade classes; four third grade classes; four fourth grade classes; two fifth grade classes and two sixth grade classes.

Morehouse Jr. High will have 790 students and 31 teachers, with five kindergarten, first grade, fifth grade and sixth grade classes and four second, third and fourth grade classes.

At Bastrop High School, the seventh and eighth grade students will be separated from the older students, including different lunch and physical education periods. There will be 371 students  effected by the move, 181 seventh graders and 36 eighth graders.