Rapides Parish School Board Proposal for School Closures Evokes Parents to Take Action

The Rapides Parish School Board has made a proposal to expand programs, but it will also cause shutdowns to schools.

ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how parents feel about the proposal could affect their children.


Parents are concerned about the Rapides Parish School Board’s proposal to close down elementary schools like Phoenix Elementary and Rapides Academy.

Parent of Rapides Academy Student Donna Mathews says, “When I discussed this with my daughter so she wouldn’t be surprised about it, she was absolutely devastated. She loves Rapides Academy. She loved Phoenix.”


The Rapides Parish School Board is proposing to combine Rapides Academy and Phoenix Magnet into a performing arts magnet program at Bolton High.

Donna Mathews says, “With Phoenix and Rapides Academy, these kids have such a sense of stability here. They love the schools, they love the teachers, we have such an amazing staff here. The teachers and administrators really care about these kids.”


This decision will force elementary students to relocate to Bolton High School.

Parent of Phoenix Magnet Elementary Student Kelly Yost says, “To think that they are just doing something under the table, it’s deceitful and it’s dishonest and they want our opinion on uniforms or when my child wants to start school, but you don’t want my opinion on whether or not, my child is moved from a school that they’ve known their whole life.”


Parents at Phoenix Magnet have safety concerns about their children being sent to Bolton High School.

Taylor Yost says, “To my knowledge, a few years back, they were even considering condemning Bolton. So how does a school go from possibly condemnable to now it’s going to be a brand-new facility K-12?”


Parents are invited to attend the public meeting to dispute the proposal on March 7th.

Parent of Phoenix Magnet Elementary Student Erica Phillips says, “I think transparency is the main issue with this and as a board, an elected board, your job is to cast a vision for any vote that you do and there’s no vision that has been cast. Could we have a K-12 Academic school? That might be a great idea, but you need to cast the vision where we’re all on board.”


We reached out to the Rapides Parish School Board and are waiting on their response.

News Reporter Keisha Swafford says, “At the school board meeting, parents are going to voice their concerns about this new transition at Bolton High School.”


The public hearing will be at the Rapides Parish School Board on March 7th at 5 PM.