School Closures Proposed

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

The latest proposal to balance the Rockford School District's budget calls for the closure of six elementary schools.

It's a plan that is raising serious concerns within the education community.

News that Cherry Valley could be forced to close its doors took principal Diane Roman by surprise. The proposal was leaked to the press before the district could officially notify staff and board members.

"It's upsetting, because we've been through this before and the fact that we're one of the most chosen schools in the district," said Roman.

The closure is hard for facility to understand, after posting some of the strongest test scores in the district. But Roman say students are the ones who will really be hurt as classrooms become overcrowded and new transportation challenges arise

"I think what we need to start doing is quit blaming one another and sit down together and come up with some viable solutions that don't hurt the kids," Roman said.

Jackson Elementary is also facing the unwelcome possibility of closing.

"The main concerns is the children and the children will have to move out of a neighborhood school into some other program and most likely be bused," Michael Francis, Principal at Jackson School.

Francis says he's received visits from worried students and fielded many calls from parents.

"My parents are getting a little upset. They have discussed what action they want to take and we'll see what happens with the board," Francis said.

Board members will have a few weeks to decide whether to close schools like cherry valley, but one thing is for sure, next week's school board meeting is sure to be a heated one.

In addition to Cherry Valley and Jackson Elementary, the district is also considering closing New Milford, Rock River, Kishwaukee, and Nelson.

Another proposal just released is to reduce the school day from seven periods to five for middle and high school students.


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