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Campbell County Schools votes to finalize merger with Silver Grove

Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 00:37:38-05

SILVER GROVE, Ky. — To the audible dismay of many assembled families, the Campbell County Schools board of education voted unanimously Monday night to welcome Silver Grove Independent School into the district.

Silver Grove taught about 160 students ranging from pre-kindergarteners to high schoolers in the same building. Some of the parents who opposed the merger said the small class sizes left room for their children to benefit from more individual attention.

Campbell County Schools, which sports about 4,800 students not counting the incoming classes from Silver Grove, might not be able to do the same.

Teacher Sara Remley said Feb. 14 she believed the merger also represented the snuffing-out of a community.

“I was heartbroken that something so precious could be destroyed,” Remley said, adding that her 9-year-old daughter had cried herself to sleep when she learned the school would close. "This is our world. This is our home. I'm here. I'm serving youth. I'm telling you, it's a great place for kids."

It's a less metaphorical problem for Hope Sheeley, who begged Monday night for Campbell County Schools to reject the measure. She doesn’t own a car, she said. Having her three children at Silver Grove meant they could safely walk to school within five minutes.

Moving them to a school a 15-minute drive away presents a serious logistical problem, she said.

“Now, I’ve got to find someone to come and get them, pay gas and all that that I can’t afford,” she said. “I’m barely making my bills as it is.”

Like others, she also worried about the impact of larger class sizes on children who had become accustomed to receiving personal attention from teachers.

Silver Grove resident Rachel Cooper, who does not have children at the school, said she found such worries insulting.

"Never in my life have I heard such degrading comments made about the strength and potential of children,” she said.

Cooper argued Silver Grove’s children deserved to have the opportunities present in a larger district such as Campbell County and that keeping them away amounted to systematic oppression based on where they lived.

The two districts will officially merge July 1. Silver Grove faculty will receive first consideration for open positions within Campbell County Schools.