Local 24 News has some important updates about the rodent infestation at Kirby High School that’s canceled classes on and off for the past two weeks.
Monday night, we learned 800 students will be relocated to finish out the semester. Four grades will now be divided over three schools, while crews work to get rid of all the rats. Parents heard about the plans during a second community meeting hosted by the Shelby County School District.
Parents have said wherever their kids are assigned, what they want most is for them to stay in the neighborhood. In order to do that, the Shelby County School District is moving 9th and 10th graders to Dubois Middle School, 11th and 12th graders to Kirby Middle School and special education students to Southwind High School.
The meeting was held at Hickory Ridge Middle School’s auditorium. Dozens of Kirby High School parents and students packed the meeting to find out what’s next for a school plagued with a bad rodent problem. They’ve already missed more than 7 days of learning.
“The odor smell, that’s one of the main challenges we are facing at Kirby High School, so we have a facility and maintenance team that are working constantly at the school. And then we have three additional vendors that are working directly with us,” said Natalia Powers, Chief of Communications for Shelby County Schools. “So, it really comes down to classroom availability and the number of seats available at the two locations so that’s why we were able to make the necessary schedule adjustments.”
Students and staff will report to their new locations on Monday, September 17. Until then, students will be responsible for doing their course work on school issued laptops provided by the district. The district will distribute those laptops to students during a half day Wednesday.
“And I think it makes the parents more responsible and more in tuned with their children, so it makes not only the parent responsible for their laptop but the children as well, so I think it was a great idea,” said Tamika Broadnax, who has a nephew at Kirby High School.
If families don’t have the internet, the district has reserved student work space at three local libraries. Superintendent Dorsey Hopson says the goal for relocating the students is to get them back learning as quickly as possible.
“As long as they jumped on it the way that they jumped on it and they’re fixing the problem, they’re taking care of our children and that’s all that matters to me,” Gina Acoff explained.
Transportation will be provided to all Kirby High School students who need it and those who normally walk to school can receive a shuttle service to their new school.
Saturday, September 15, Dubois Middle and Kirby Middle will host an open-house so students and parents can get familiar with the buildings.