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The front of swan middle school with some large pine trees

Swann Middle to Be Shut Down, Renovated

Major changes to Swann Middle School bring mixed reactions from students and teachers.

By Mila Pucilowski

Jan. 29, 2024

Guilford County Schools is the third largest school district in North Carolina with 124 schools, many over 60 years old. 


Because of this many schools are in desperate need of repair, an issue the Guilford County School Board has been trying to resolve.


With a new Kiser Middle building being rebuilt right next door and many more schools being closed entirely, it poses the question, what happens when a school is completely shut down?


Well, this is happening right now at Swann Middle School. 


Swann Middle is a historic school that just celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022, making it the district's oldest school building. Therefore it had many problems such as mold, leaks, AC problems, and more. 


On November 7th, it was revealed that the school would be shut down after the 2023-2024 school year, abrupt news that shocked teachers and students.


 Mark Maltby, who has been teaching at Swann for 13 years, was with students when the news was first announced. He and the other teachers found out at the same time as the students.


Instead of worrying for his job, and what problems it would cause for him, Maltby said, "The hardest part was watching the kids cry."


After the initial shock, all agreed that it was best for the school, and many were excited for a new experience.


 Current seventh grade student Maye Kennerly said, "I'm kind of excited to move schools, to start a fresh year with new friends, new teachers, and a whole new environment.”


As for teachers, most core teachers have already been redistricted to new schools. However some arts teachers, although guaranteed a job next year, still have not been told where they will be going.


Swann has acted as a middle school for Spanish Immersion and STEM students since about the year 2000. But it is still a district school as well. In total there are about 542 students currently at Swann middle. 


 Students will be redistricted to either Kiser or Mendenhall Middle Schools depending on whether they are in the Page or Grimsley district, according to the Greensboro News & Record. The Spanish immersion students are being redistricted to Kiser Middle, and STEM students to Hairston Middle.


Swann's renovation is set to be done by the fall of 2027. The initial idea was for it to become a 6-12 magnet school. 


However, GCS Superintendent Dr. Whitney Oakley proposed that it should become the new performing arts school, replacing Weaver Academy as Greensboro's performing arts school. The school board approved Dr. Oakley's proposal, and Swann will reopen in 2027 as a performing arts school. 

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