Parents frustrated, others optimistic about consolidated schools in Morehouse Parish

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MOREHOUSE PARISH, La. (KNOE) - Many students in Morehouse Parish had their first day at new schools Thursday morning. This comes after the school board decided to close H.V. Adams and Pine Grove Elementary because of an expected $1.6 million shortfall.

The first day back brought some mixed reactions as students grabbed their backpacks and went off to their new schools.

Superintendent David Gray says most things will stay the same at these consolidated schools; many students will have the same teachers and classes despite about 50 layoffs.

Some students say they're excited to start school again even though they're in different classrooms.

But the real concern is with the parents. Some parents, like Joseph Martin, say the day started off frustrating because of drop-off confusion. Martin says it adds to his concerns about the consolidated schools. He’s worried about his daughter’s future at the new school.

"Well it doesn't look bright,” he says. “The simple reason why is that they have way too many students coming to be here."

While people like Martin are worried, Christopher Harris says he’s optimistic about the future.

"It's about change and sometimes we're resistant to change, but sometimes for things to get better you have to allow the change to come,” Harris says. “As far as with the community, this is our opportunity to get more involved. Just because our schools are closed right now doesn't mean that we can't work hard to get them opened back in the future, but we have to handle our business now as a community and financially."

Gray says the classrooms and staff are ready for students, but there could be a few kinks to work out. He says that will come with time, learning what needs to be changed.