Public hearings set for three schools left on closure list

POULSBO — Breidablik, Gordon and Wolfle elementary schools will all be examined in-depth by the North Kitsap School Board in February for potential closure.

Three public hearings, one for each school, is scheduled in order to allow public comment.

The hearings are as follows: Gordon, Feb. 7; Breidablik, Feb. 14; Wolfle, Feb. 20. The hearings all begin at 6 p.m. in the boardroom, 18360 Caldart Ave., Poulsbo.

School board study sessions will be held the same days as the public hearings. Study sessions begin at 5:15 p.m. Feb. 7 and 20, and 7 p.m. Feb. 14.

Breidablik and Gordon were the top two schools recommended by the School Closure Committee for closure.

Wolfle had the second lowest amount votes for closure out of the six schools that remained on the list earlier this month. Pearson, Suquamish and Vinland received more votes from the closure committee for closure recommendation, but are no longer on the table. Poulsbo Elementary was the first school to be removed from consideration.

The school board made the decision Jan. 24 to consider the three remaining schools for closure. The board will make its final decision on a closure on Feb. 28. A study session at 5:15 p.m. will be held prior to the decision.

The need to close a school follows a continuing decline in student enrollment. The district cut more than $2 million from its budget for the 2012-13 school year.

A school closure is expected to save the district more than $300,000 per year. Though there is some savings from reduced utility costs, the majority of the savings comes from reduction in staffing; for example, one less principal, fewer teachers and custodial staff.

Once a school is closed, district administrators will begin the work of redrawing attendance boundaries. In an earlier Herald story, Superintendent Patty Page said she would like to have parents notified by March which school their student will attend in the 2013-14 year.


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