Sunday, November 29, 2009

From the Huntsville Times by David Brewer

There is talk of closing the Paint Rock Valley High School. Below is the article that appeared in the Huntsville Times on 19 Nov 2009 with some details. What do you think about it?

Jackson officials note high cost of educating students

PRINCETON - Jackson County school officials may soon discuss whether to close Paint Rock Valley School in Princeton because of its declining enrollment, now at 95 students for grades K-12.

"Unless enrollment increases we would have no alternative than to (close it) in the near future," said Brenda Brown, chair of the Jackson County Board of Education.

Educating a child at Paint Rock Valley School costs twice as much as at other schools in the Jackson County system, she said Tuesday.

Superintendent Ken Harding said the school's low enrollment is a financial concern "we're looking at." But he said there are no plans to close the school, at least not this school year.

What about after the school year?

"That would be up to the board," he said. "We haven't gotten to that point yet. I kind of dread talking about it. It's not something you look forward to."

The school's enrollment has declined about 36 percent over the last five years, from 148 students during the 2005-06 school year to 95 this school year, making it the smallest enrollment in the state for a K-12 school, according to the state school board.

Paint Rock Valley School Principal Lauria Merritt said 17 students graduated last year and 15 are expected to graduate in the spring. She said the school had its largest enrollment, 200 students, during the 1970s.

Because of the low enrollment and her small teaching staff (12), grades 1 and 2, 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 have been combined and are taught by three teachers who graduated from the school.

The same combined grades were in place when these teachers were attending school, Merritt said. "So, they understand the concept."

Built in 1935, Paint Rock Valley School is probably the only place left that ties together its tiny community, said Loretta Harris, who graduated from the school in 1955 and served as its secretary for 20 years.

Harris said she and other residents are concerned about the future of the school that their families built from rocks and timber gathered from nearby fields and mountainsides.

But officials said the community's isolation in a remote, rural setting and its lack of businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores and recreational activities, has made it less of an ideal place for young couples to raise a family.

And some who do live there, Brown said, have their children bused to the other nearby K-12 schools - Skyline, 12 miles away, and Woodville, 22 miles away, each with enrollments of more than 500 students.

If enrollment does not increase and/or the current economic condition does not improve, "we'd have to discuss the possibility of closing it," she said. "Not because they're not getting a good education, but strictly because of the financial situation."

Harris, who also had a son and daughter graduate from the school and now has two grandchildren enrolled there, said she's urging residents to voice their opposition to closing the school. She said she and another woman recently met with Harding about the possibility of the school's closing and was told that it would not be discussed before January.

"But I think it's important we make our concerns known before then," she said. "Even if I didn't have grandchildren there, I'd be fighting for the school."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Final Countdown to Auction 2009

We are within the last week before our big 2009 Auction. Some of our auction items can be seen here on this blog, but many more are better seen in person. Here is a prime example. This is a gem stone of Paint Rock Agate, from the Paint Rock River. It is artistically crafted with sterling silver mount and decorations. This pendant necklace is one of our prizes of the auction. Please come by Sunday, 4-October 2009 to see this an other fine auction items.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New Auction Items

Three rare books have been added to our auction. Walton Boys, Gold in the Snow, by Hal Burton. The Ultimate Fake Book; Country Music Songs. The Classic Tales of Beatrix Potter, F. Warne & Co.

We will have a variety of Alabama made canned goodes. BlackJack Crushed Tomatoes, Alabama Sunshine Table Syrup, Heaton Peacan Farm Vidalia (R) Onion Rance Dressing and Pecan Honey Butter, Wicklers Sandwich Relish. Mmmm.

Pictures of Americana examples; Country Store. And two matted Norman Rockwell

Gone Fishing - We have nice fish related auction items. Come on by and see.

This is the top of a beautifully hand painted antique chest. Painted top, sides, and pulls, by Kathy Molizon 2008. Detail is beautiful.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Auction Item Addition

We started gathering items for our big auction this fall. We will post pictures here when we get them in. Remember, you can donate to our auction. Please see us at our monthly gatherings and yard sales in the valley.

This is a painting by an Alabama artist, Betty Sims. This painting is currently in our store, and can be seen at our monthly yard sales. It is even nicer in person.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CORRECTION - March Kickoff meeting Second Sunday

We will meet the second Sunday for our Kick-off meeting. See you 8-Mar!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Paint Rock Valley 2009 Kick Off Meeting

Y'all are welcome to join us for a planning meeting before our yard sale year starts. We'll meet the first Sunday of March to kick off the new year for the Paint Rock Valley History Project. Location is same as our monthly yard sales. We'll be there 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. We will discuss our "First Sunday" yard sales, a special April event, and the big auction scheduled for October. Also, we'll do some organizing of the store.

This is a great opportunity to get involved with our group. We are friendly and inviting. You'll hear great tales of the valley years gone by, and maybe some from yesterday.

See you Sunday, 1-March, 2009 in the beautiful Paint Rock Valley.
We have a 19" color tv to donate to the Pain Rock Valley auction.
It is about 15 years old or so and works great.
Jan & Gary Sweetapple
Alabaster, Alabama