Dekalb County School Board approves closure of Moon Lake Elementary

Moon Lake Elementary to close

MENTONE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Dekalb County School with a rich history, will be closing at the end of the year.

The County School Board voted to close Moon Lake Elementary last week on Thursday.

Moon Lake Elementary was founded in 1911. The first building stood two stories high and was burned down in the 1920′s. The current building was rebuilt in 1929 by community members.

Now, 110 years later their doors will be closed for good.

That’s because of declining enrollment.

“We were very disappointed because we knew that the community would come together to keep it open and do what was needed to be done,” said Dr. Bill Berry.

Dr. Berry was a student at Moon Lake Elementary and served as principal there for 14 years.

“When I was a student here back in the 1960′s the enrollment was around 80 students. While I was principal, it got a high at 147 which was the all-time high for enrollment for this k-6 school,” said Dr. Berry.

Superintendent Dr. Jason Barnett said currently the school has 56 students enrolled in grades k-6. He said the district would be required to spend $240,656.44 annually to employ a teacher in each grade level.

“What we would earn next year for teachers would be 3.4 teaching units and in order to fully fund each grade there would be 7. which means the local board would have to contribute from some revenue source more than the state foundation would be able to provide to keep the school open,” said Dr. Barnett.

Dr. Barnett said although it was a difficult decision to make, he said there are plans to make the school a legacy center to integrate arts, music and other educational components.

Which is something Dr. Berry said he is excited about.

“I think the community is looking forward to a bright future for Moon Lake even though it’s closing, and it seems like an ending. In my mind it’s really a new beginning,” said Dr. Berry.

Students will attend Valley Head School and staff will be assigned to different schools.

The school is slated to close at the end of the school year.

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