By Luke Baynes
The high school segment of Trinity Baptist School in Williston will shut its doors at the end of the school year due to lack of enrollment, although the K-8 portion of the school and the Little Lambs Preschool will remain in operation.
Pastor Darrin Forehand confirmed the news in an email to the Observer.
“The school board decided to temporarily suspend the high school (9-12),” wrote Forehand. “Our preschool and K-8 is planning on remaining in operation.”
The announcement came less than two weeks after the school board decided on a different form of suspension, when it ruled on March 11 that 17-year-old junior Jonathan Oblak be suspended for the remainder of the school year following an essay he wrote for an English class assignment that criticized the school’s dress and conduct codes.
Prior to learning about TBS’ decision to close the high school, Oblak said he would not attend the school for his senior year.
“I do know that I don’t want to go back to Trinity,” Oblak said. “It would just be awkward.”
Oblak’s mother, Sylvia, said affected parents who also attend Trinity Baptist Church were informed of the school board’s decision on March 21. Parents who send their children to the school but aren’t members of the church were told the news on March 22.
“This came out of the blue,” she said. “It’s a shock to everyone that has students in the high school.”
TBS Administrator Randy Krystowiak told the Observer that he wasn’t part of the decision making process because he isn’t a member of the school board.
“I really don’t have a say in what the school will look like next year – I just work with whatever I am handed,” Krystowiak wrote in an email.
Forehand was unable to confirm how many students will be affected by the school’s closing.
“I’m not sure the exact count of high school students right now,” Forehand stated.