The Sweetwater County School District #2 Board of Education is considering a proposal to close Jackson Elementary School next school year.
Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumo brought the proposal to the board during their meeting on Tuesday and said the closure was due to anticipated budget cuts and reduced enrollment numbers.
Little-Kaumo said the district anticipates budget cuts in the upcoming legislative session. Those cuts are expected to be $4.5 to $4.9 million.
With these cuts in mind, Little-Kaumo says the District is in a somewhat unique situation which could result in a school closure while still keeping the teachers and students together.
The proposal requests that the students and teachers at Jackson Elementary be moved to Monroe Intermediate School. Currently, Monroe provides an education to 5th and 6th grade students. Next year, however, District #2 will move to a restructured format which will make all elementary schools kindergarten through 5th grade, middle school for 6th through 8th grade, and high school for 9th through 12th grades.
With the restructuring, that means all students currently at Monroe will attend middle school next year. This provides the opportunity for students and teachers at Jackson Elementary to relocate without breaking up the team.
“Nobody likes closing a school, or the potential for that,” said Little-Kaumo. “But at least if you can keep everyone together, that’s a pretty nice alternative.”
The closure of Jackson Elementary would reduce the District’s budget by about $1.22 million.
Jackson Elementary was the school selected for potential closure because it is in the area with the greatest decrease in enrollment. While the school currently has 221 students, Little-Kaumo said the school would only have 120 students if it consisted of only those who live within the boundary.
The school board will decide on the school closure during their meeting at 7 p.m. on November 14, 2017.
Prior to the vote, the public is encouraged to provide feedback on the closure and ideas on how to save money at community meetings on October 17th. Meeting times are:
October 17th 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
October 17th 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
October 17th 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The meetings will be held in the Board Room at the Central Administration Building at 351 Monroe Avenue, Green River, WY.