Monday 11 Nov 2019


No Decision Yet On Edgewood School’s Future

The future of the Edgewood Community Developmental School continues to be a topic of concern.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Rachel Radford of Goldsboro told the Wayne County Board of Commissioners she’s been upset about the county’s and school district’s handling of Edgewood and the school’s potential closing.

During her comments, Radford said the autistic children at Edgewood would not handle the change should their school be closed.

Commissioner Joe Daughtery says students and parents deserve answers on the future of Edgewood, and soon do they can make arrangements before the next school year.

The newly-approved Wayne County budget includes $587,000 to ensure Edgewood Community Developmental School can continue operating next year.

A statement from Wayne County Public Schools on Tuesday says:

“At no point has there ever been discussion to close Edgewood Community Developmental School. There has only been discussion about the possibility of relocating the school and changing how grades in the school are configured.”

Superintendent Dr. Michael Dunsmore also shared the following statement with Goldsboro Daily News:

“Last spring, the district began studying the possibilities of relocating elementary students at Edgewood to the new Meadow Lane Elementary campus, which is coming online this summer. We were essentially looking at the feasibility of housing the elementary grades in a special hall of the new building which would offer Edgewood students access to state of the art classrooms and occupational therapy areas. This school within a school program option would allow Edgewood students to continue receiving personalized care, while receiving their education on a campus with similar non-disabled aged peers. As a part of our study, we also began looking at the possibilities of relocating the middle and high students to another campus as well.

With the 2019-2020 local budget now approved by the Board of Commissioners, we are in the process of reviewing all options to finalize the best direction moving forward for students and families at Edgewood. We anticipate an official decision by the end of June.  While we would have preferred being able to announce earlier this semester about whether the school would remain on the same campus, be relocated, or have a new grade configuration, several key variables needed to be addressed first.

As has been previously discussed, one of the biggest challenges WCPS has to overcome is addressing the federal cuts in the area of Exceptional Children. In 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, WCPS received $1.4 million annually in federal Developmental Day funds to provide required services for qualifying Edgewood students. Since then, Developmental Day funding has decreased dramatically, meaning the district is absorbing the costs of impacted services. This past academic year, WCPS received $347,000 for qualifying Edgewood students, and we expect continued cuts next school year. Now that we are aware that the Board of Commissioners will be providing the same of funding level in 2019-2020 that it has provided in decades past for Edgewood, our Finance Office and Exceptional Children Program staff are tasked with determining the best funding options for the upcoming school year.

In addition to looking at budgets, this spring, the WCPS Exceptional Children’s program began reviewing all services currently being provided by WCPS to Edgewood students to ensure the district is in compliance with state and federal law as it pertains to each student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This has been a very time consuming but important process, which we anticipate will be wrapped up in the coming days.

It is also important to note that WCPS is awaiting the results of a recent lead paint inspection of Edgewood. While we anticipate the school will pass the inspection based on the mitigation efforts that have taken place in the building in recent years, we do have to be prepared for any impacts a failed inspection could have on the district’s ability to maintain a Developmental Day program on that campus next fall.

Edgewood Community Developmental School is special to our district, the students, staff and families. As superintendent, my ultimate goal is to help the Board of Education and the district make an informed decision on how to best ensure the highest level of education and care for students enrolled in the Edgewood program moving forward.”

4 Comments

  1. Sandra Butler says:

    Edgewood Community developmental school is a unique School within itself. The students should be educated in a school that is geared towards them. Not mainstream. Edgewood has a lot to offer. They have teachers that are equipped to handle all situations and pay special attention to those students. I am not a parent of a special needs child however I have worked at Edgewood and I know all that working in a school such as Edgewood requires. I think what needs to be done is look at the welfare of the children. What’s best for the children. Edgewood may need some renovations but it is and it’s ideal spot. I think the best thing for the special needs children is to be an environment that is solely adaptable to them and their needs. Yes Edgewood is an old school but if you can build al new school then they can go in and renovate Edgewood. Keep them at a school separate from quote normal children.

    Reply
    • Waynecountynative says:

      A new or even renovated Edgewood would be wonderful, but for that to happen the people of Wayne County are going to have to start actually supporting the school system. That hasn’t happened in this county yet. You can barely get anyone to run to sit on the school board, the voters turned down a sales tax boost to support school funding, and when the commissioners finally came around to recognizing the need for more funding, a whole cadre of opposition voices showed up to chastise them for daring to consider more money for schools. As long as education isn’t a priority for the people of Wayne County, decisions like this one will be required and we can continue to watch our kids fail while the best teachers and administrators go to Johnston and Wake counties.

      Reply
  2. Delta says:

    Dunsmore becoming superintendent is one of the worst things to happen to WCPS. The guy has proven his incompetence time and again.

    Unless I have a very short memory, I don’t remember this kind of crap happening when Steven Taylor was superintendent.

    Reply
  3. I am the parent of an Edgewood student. I am so tired of Dr. Dunsmore saying that moving our children to a hall at Meadow Lane is going to be the best thing for them. First, us parents have voiced to him as well as the BOE that we want our kids in their own facility with preschool thru high school all together. He states in this article that at Meadow Lane “…while receiving education on a campus with SIMILAR NON-DISABLED aged peers”. There aren’t any children similar to mine in mainstream school. That’s why I drive 25 mins to Edgewood to take my child to a school were he blends in with kids just like him. Dr. Dunsmore please stop acting as if this move is for our children’s best interest.
    As for the drop in federal funding, this money is in addition to what each child in public school receives and had that $1.4 million been poured back into Edgewood alone, our school would have “state of the art classrooms and occupational therapy areas”.
    I hope by the time this is all said and done, money will be put into our current campus and we remain there. No one from Edgewood wants to be moved and we certainly don’t want to be separated and shoved in whatever open hole they can squeeze our kids in. #SAVEOURSCHOOL

    Reply

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