Riverview supporters hope to keep school open - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Riverview supporters hope to keep school open

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Supporters holding signs and chanting outside Riverview Elementary, hoping to convince SCS leaders to keep their school open (Kristin Tallent / FOX13) Supporters holding signs and chanting outside Riverview Elementary, hoping to convince SCS leaders to keep their school open (Kristin Tallent / FOX13)
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SOUTH MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

The fight to keep several Shelby County Schools open continues as time for community members to plead their case is running out. SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson will present his final list to the board in February.

Thirteen schools could close their doors next school year as SCS leaders look to streamline the budget. Before the district makes its final decision, parents and others are getting the chance to ask the tough questions to school leaders at a series of community meetings.  

MORE: Hopson discusses expected closure of 13 SCS schools

One of those meetings was held at Riverview Elementary Thursday evening, where supporters gathered outside the school, chanting and holding signs, hoping their spirit can help convince Shelby County Schools leaders to keep Riverview "open".  

Daryal Lee is the parent of three Riverview students. He says he went to the school and is dedicated to making sure it doesn't' close its doors.

"If there's anything I can do or the parents can do, we'll do it...to keep this community alive.  If you take the school away, it's going to die," Lee said.

Parents and students at Riverview say they're committed to the school because to many, it's part of their legacy.

"All of my family members have been to this school, including my mom and dad, so it really means a lot to me,"  Riverview fifth grader Chasity Partee said, who is in her last year at the elementary school but has a younger brother who also attends Riverview.

"He loves his teachers and the school."  

Lee says he doesn't know how to explain the school closures to his kids.

"I told my son they're going to close the school and he said, "Who?"  I said, "Son, don't worry.  Daddy is going to try to fix it," Lee said.

Parents can't make any guarantees and neither can SCS leaders. Regional Superintendent Willie Rhodes and other SCS employees, as well as board members Chris Caldwell and Shante Avant attended a community meeting at Riverview Thursday, to answer questions about what happens next if Riverview does close its doors.  

Superintendent Hopson released the list of 13 schools that could be closed earlier this month, citing low enrollment and poor student achievement. Hopson's plan is to merge Riverview and "Florida-Kansas" Elementary schools, to best-utilize buildings.

"Even though I'm leaving this school next year, it still means a lot to me," Chasity said. "I want a connection.  When I grow up, I want to come back and remember, this is the school I went to."

SCS also held a community meeting at Gordon Elementary Thursday evening. Two more meetings will be held Monday, Feb. 3" one at Graves Elementary and one at Northside High.  

The final list of closures will be presented to the board in February.  

If you would like to see Superintendent Hopson's presentation about the list of 13 proposed closures, click here.

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