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Here are my comments at the public meetings at Jones Elementary on April 13:
My name is Chad Cobb. I am the PTO president for Jones Elementary. This school is more than a building with students and teachers. This school is a home to everyone associated with it. My family and I spend more time at this school than we do at our home.
Parents feel welcome in this school. I am afraid if other schools are not as welcoming as Jones, parents won't be a part of their children's education. Parent involvement, along with the best teachers in Hall County, I believe, is the reason our test scores have continued to rise in years past.
The history of Jones alone should keep this school open. Your lieutenant governor and mine, Casey Cagle, once attended this school. Johnson & Johnson Co. gave this school to Hall County to educate children in the village surrounding the school and the neighborhoods close to it.
We have parents that walk their children to and from school. Will they be able to do that if their kids are moved to Chicopee Woods or McEver?
I posted on our Facebook fan site, which has 658 fans, that I think if Jones is closed, a majority of our students should go to Chestnut Mountain since it is the newest elementary school in the county, and with part of our school being built in 1949 these kids should be in the newest school we have. I think of Jones as art; it gets better and more valuable with every passing year.
Steve Hudson of Hall County Parks and Leisure told me he was worried that if the school is closed or used as something else, that he would not be able to use this beautiful gym for basketball. He said this gym is vital to the basketball program for Hall County.
All I can do is ask you board members to go with one of the two options other than closing our school.
I pray when the time comes to vote, you all will do so with your heart not your pocketbook.
We believe there is still a future here at Jones Elementary.
PTO President, Jones Elementary, Gainesville