Parents Beg School Board To Keep Walnut Grove Elementary School Open
The school could close after the 2013-2014 school yearPhoto: Video by kmtv.com
CREATED Apr. 23, 2013
Council Bluffs, IOWA -- On Tuesday night, Council Bluffs parents hoping to save their elementary school got few answers from the school board.
They're trying to save the aging Walnut Grove Elementary School.
A district committee has spent months looking at different ways to deal with the 100-year-old school and is recommending it is shut down.
"Where is their hope going to be if Walnut Grove is hope for those children?" asked parent Daisy Patlan.
Teresa Valyer collected more than 1,000 signatures hoping to convince board members to keep Walnut Grove open.
"We did not overspend our budget," said Valyer. "You did. Everything had to be built at once. New programs were implemented. I love new teaching styles. I used to be a teacher, but I think we went fast, and Walnut Grove got left in the dust."
The school is one of a handful in the district that still needs to be remodeled. Improvements began on certain schools in 2008.
Now the district is out of money, and isn't sure keeping the school open is worth it.
"I can tell you right now, we will never respect the failure of our school system," said Valyer.
It could cost up $10 million to make the necessary changes.
On Tuesday, a district committee made its formal presentation and is recommending the best solution for the district is to close the school and send the more than 350 kids to other schools.
"Not only is it a school, but it's also a community center for the neighborhood," said parent Amy Freking. "There are Boy Scout meetings, cheerleading camps and play dates with the neighbors. It's a wonderful place for people to go."
If the board votes in favor of the recommendation, Walnut Grove would close at the end of next school year.
On Tuesday, the district only heard the presentation. No decision was made.
If they decide to hold a public meeting, they'll let everyone know when.
They hope to make a decision in the coming months.