MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Interim Superintendent Dr. Steve Smith has a lot to think about before his next recommendation to the Board of Education, one that the future of Riley Elementary in Macon hinges on.
After last night, the plan to close the school may have changed.
"Riley is truly a family that works together," said District 4 Bibb County Board of Education member Tom Hudson.
Sometimes a school is more than a place--it's a family.
Riley Elementary School lies nestled in the middle of a community--and parent Whitney Risby had all good things to say about it.
"Well I have a six-year-old, he's in first grade, this is his second year here, and I've had some very positive experiences since he's been here at Riley," said parent Whitney Risby. "The teachers are very positive and very supportive. You know, they work with you in terms of discipline wise, academic-wise. I'm glad he's a student here.
At the Board of Education meeting Thursday night, the Riley community stood up against a proposed plan that would close the school.
"The attendance was much lower, the academic achievement was somewhat off, but since that time the school was making AYP," said Hudson. "We have more than 400 students that are there."
And at Riley, it's the sense of community that Hudson hopes will keep the school from closing.
"People who are actively involved in the community volunteer at the school for various things at the school," said Hudson. "They also watch out for the young people leaving the school and going to school. We have a lot of people that will be sitting in the yard to help the students. And it's safe walk to school in the area because of the fact that people are so involved...If we had transferred those students to another school, it would have been a difficult situation for them."
Something Risby wouldn't want her son to go through.
"It'll kind of be a little sad. I know how things can be--they have a lot of teachers they'll be laying off and also for him to have to go to another school and adapt all over so, I would hate that," said Risby.
Hudson said the board will wait for a recommendation from the interim Superintendent about the closing of the school.
And after the strong community showing at the meeting last night, Hudson says he hopes the school will stay open.