HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Another meeting on fate of Fern Creek Elementary 

Anxious parents should attend Feb. 19 informational meeting at Audubon Park Elementary School

click to enlarge Fern Creek Elementary School - PHOTO BY SHANNON SCHEIDELL
  • Photo by Shannon Scheidell
  • Fern Creek Elementary School

In 2011, one of Orlando’s smallest public schools, Fern Creek Elementary, made national news. Reporters for the New York Times and 60 Minutes both profiled the school, which at the time had an astoundingly large number of students living at the Coalition for the Homeless. According to the Fern Creek Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded to provide food, clothing, mentorship and more to Fern Creek students, more than 85 percent of the kids at the school live below the poverty level. Anywhere from 20 to 25 percent of the student population is homeless.

Despite that, the Times called the school a “sanctuary” for children whose families were suffering from unemployment, homelessness and other economic woes. In addition to providing a supportive environment for students, the school is reinforced by an army of volunteers and donors who invest in the future of the kids who attend. (Blue Man Group, Refresh Computers and Impulse Creative Group, for instance, just donated more than $10,000 worth of audiovisual equipment to Fern Creek.)

So imagine the surprise of many families when they learned of a meeting taking place at the school Feb. 12 to discuss plans to shut Fern Creek down and send its students to schools in Baldwin Park and Parramore (see our blog post, “Fern Creek Elementary School is AWESOME. Fern Creek Elementary School is about to be closed,” Feb. 12, blogs.orlandoweekly.com).

Orange County Public Schools Area Superintendent Bill Gordon and board member Nancy Robbinson told the audience that the school would be closed in either 2017 or 2019, depending on the potential cash flow from a sales-tax increase that will presumably help provide the $28.5 million needed to build a new K-8 elementary school in the Audubon Park/Baldwin Park area. Another new K-8 will be constructed in Parramore – currently students living in Parramore are being bused to eight different elementary schools.

Another informational meeting is scheduled for tonight (Feb. 19) at 6:30 p.m. at Audubon Park Elementary School (1750 Common Way Road).

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation