OUR VIEW: Patience is paramount as CCSD works through restructuring

Published 4:14 pm Thursday, March 31, 2022

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It’s almost laughable for us to preach patience to Chambers County residents on the ongoing school system restructuring. We realize this is an issue that has continued for decades too long, like a dark cloud over the school system — almost like an unpaid debt that would one day come due.

Well, that call has come (again), and Chambers County School District Superintendent Casey Chambley is in Washington D.C. to meet with the Department of Justice. There’s hope that a settlement is on the horizon, CCSD’s plan can be approved and everyone can move forward knowing that the next steps are clear.

If you have slept under a rock and are unfamiliar, CCSD announced a restructuring plan that would re-work the school system to meet the federal government’s desegregation order, better utilize space and provide a more equitable school experience for students across the county.

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That plan, among many other things, includes merging Valley High and LaFayette High into a new school that will be built in the years to come.

And now we’re going to ask you for a bit of patience as this all plays out. Yes, on an issue that has been going on since the 90s. Yes, on a problem you’ve all been talking about so long that it’s become a normal conversation piece in Chambers County.

The truth is that no one is happy with the change. We all like our routines, our traditions, and we don’t want any of those to change. But some of them are going to change, and people are understandably upset with some of that.

But there are some questions that just can’t be answered yet. Where will the new merged high school be that will house LaFayette High and Valley High students? As Chambley explained Wednesday, it’s hard to know when the plan hasn’t even been approved yet.

How will Chambers County’s time zone complicate the restructuring plans? Chambley said there are many options on the table for handling students in central time and eastern time and ensuring no one is put at a disadvantage or needing to get up at the break of dawn.

Again, it’s hard to finalize any of those plans until an overall restructuring plan is approved.

Everyone wants all of the answers today, and we understand that, but that’s just not possible right now.

Chambley said in his interview Wednesday that he wants to hear from all sides — people who support the plan, people against it and everyone in between. That’s the right approach. His job as superintendent is to take all that in and somehow come out the other side with a plan that best works for all of CCSD’s students.

It’s important to remember that no has figured this out for decades and no matter who the superintendent is, this decision would still be needed now.

Once the plan is approved, even more of a concrete plan will be developed. We understand people are nervous, but at this moment, patience is best.

Assuming approval, the plan is going to happen, one way or another because it has to. It’s that simple, and it’s important to keep that in mind as things move forward.