Marquette Elementary School could be closing for the 2021-2022 school year

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MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) - Marquette Elementary School could be closing for the 2021-2022 school year due to shrinking enrollment throughout the district.

Marquette Elementary School could be closing its doors for the 2021-2022 school year pending approval from the Harlem School Board.

The Harlem School Board says they have conducted multiple enrollment studies and reports that since 2008 enrollment has dropped from 7,598 to 6,065 students.

Eight recommendations including closing Marquette sit before the school board on how to deal with enrollment issues. Blume estimates that the closing of the school will have the district annually around $1 million. If the board votes to close, students who attended Marquette will then attend Machesney Elementary School.

“It’s obviously tough on the families and staff when you decide to close a building,” said Blume.

Harlem School District Director of Stakeholder Engagement Jason Blume says families waiting longer to have kids or having fewer kids along with people leaving the state are the two factors contributing to shrinking classrooms.

“We hope that our families recognize this is something we really need to do based on enrollment,” said Blume.”

The Harlem School Board will meet and vote on March 9 on the recommendations.