West Point Ky

Kentucky district agrees to shut down, merge with county school system

Feb. 21, 2020
Officials in the West Point district say the 150-student system is no longer financially viable

The West Point (Ky.) Independent School District has finalized an agreement to shut down and merge with Hardin County Schools.

The Louisville Courier Journal reports that the merger was approved after leaders in West Point's one-school, preK-8 district determined they could no longer cope with low enrollment of less than 150 students and the resulting revenue shortfalls.

West Point is a city of about 1,200 in Hardin County at the confluence of the Salt and Ohio rivers. The school district was founded in 1804.

West Point School Board Chair Eddie Moore says the "entire process has been about putting children first."

"We know that this has been an emotional time for students, families and staff of West Point Independent School," Moore says. "We want everyone involved to know that our district will take excellent care of everyone involved and will make this transition as seamless as possible."

Under the agreement that takes effect July 1, 2020:
•Preschool and kindergarten students from West Point will attend North Park Elementary School in Radcliff

First through fifth grade students from West Point will attend Vine Grove Elementary School in Vine Grove

Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students from West Point will attend James T. Alton Middle School in Vine Grove

Students that are entering ninth grade in the 2020-21 school year will attend North Hardin High School in Radcliff

Under the merger, West Point students who will be in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades in the 2020-21 school year can  attend Elizabethtown High School as they have in years past and can stay through graduation. Elizabethtown High is part of Elizabethtown Independent Schools.

In a letter last month to the West Point School community, Moore and interim Superintendent Sally Sugg wrote that revenue each year had increasingly "failed to meet the ever-growing expenses of staffing and running our school" and that it became "apparent that we have reached a point that is not financially sustainable."

Average daily attendance had also declined since 2016.

Property taxes in West Point are among the highest in the state, the leaders wrote, but "even increasing taxes would not create enough revenue for the school district to fully staff our school with a full-time guidance counselor, Gifted/Talented teacher, additional special education teachers, a school nurse and maintenance staff without depleting reserves."


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