Ogden School District discusses possible elementary school closures
(KUTV) – In the last year, the Ogden School District reports it has shrunk by approximately 450 students.
That’s almost the equivalent of a small elementary school. Now, the school district is facing the reality that it may need to close one or more schools.
“We simply can’t afford it,” district spokesperson Jer Bates told 2News.
Bates attended a town hall meeting Tuesday at Wasatch Elementary where parents showed up to hear from district leaders and express their opinions about the potential closures.
The five schools that could be closed are:
- Taylor Canyon Elementary
- Wasatch Elementary
- Gramercy Elementary
- Hillcrest Elementary
- Polk Elementary
Bates says the district could close one or as many as three of the listed schools.
“It’s just become difficult for us to keep open as many small schools,” Bates said. “I understand it, it’s not easy for those families who might directly be impacted.”
In an effort to inform families at the potentially-affected schools, Ogden School District is holding five town-hall-style meetings this week and the board expects to select a path forward at next week’s meeting.
“We understand that the reality is we have a declining enrollment and we got to find a solution to that problem,” Wasatch Elementary parent Robyn Stark told 2News.
Stark’s home borders the school and she said she fears what will happen with the building if the school is shuttered.
“I wanted to hear what the board was thinking and see what peoples’ thoughts were,” Stark said.
Several people at the meeting spoke about the dedicated staff at Wasatch Elementary and said they didn’t want to see the community impacted by a closure.
The district said if the elementary schools are consolidated, there will not be layoffs and the staff from the closed schools will transition to other schools.
“We want to be able to bring kids back to Ogden city schools, we love our schools,” Stark said.
In 2017, Ogden voters turned down a school bond that would have given an addition $106-million to the district.