Whittier Elementary Faces School Shutdown - Siouxland News - KMEG 14 and FOX 44

Whittier Elementary Faces School Shutdown

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SIOUX CITY, IA -

It's been a school since Theodore Roosevelt became the first President to ride in an automobile.

And now, the probable closing of Sioux City's Whittier Elementary has parents and faculty wondering what the future holds for their students.

Whittier Elementary is more than 100 years old.  

And the school board is set to vote on a plan to close it at next Monday's meeting.

But Monday night parents and faculty got a chance to share their concerns and questions about the future.

The proposal to shut down Whittier is one that's been thrown around for the past several years.

The previous school board challenged the district about the school in 2011.

At one point, it was close to shutting it down, but ultimately voted against.

However, this second time around, it seems that the school may soon see its door closed.

The history that lies in those halls and classrooms of Whittier Elementary could soon disappear.

Board members say the financial costs, along with several other matters, has called for a shutdown of the school.

But parents and staff at Monday night's meeting aren't so convinced it's for the best.
 
"I know they keep saying the classroom's going to be a smaller size but what the kids have now they've known these kids, they go to school, we're all neighborhood kids. They play with them after school-on the weekends so they're all- they know each other. When they get thrown into that school, they're going to have 300 to 400 more kids that they have no idea-who they're going to have to communicate with and talk to in school  and you know they might not see eye to eye, you know it's just scary," said Courtney Gates, a parent of two Whittier Elementary School.
 
Closing those doors means closing opportunities on students who are eager to learn in their own communities, according to parents we spoke with.

They say it's an unfair decision that puts their children at a disadvantage.

"I hope they take into consideration the atmosphere over there and what the teachers have done there. And yes, you can always take em and put them in a building but you know, the building doesn't make the atmosphere for the kids, it's the people that's in it," said one parent, Tito Parker.

"Money aside, think about the kids and the families that go to Whittier and any small school in general. It's just the neighborhood schools are, I personally believe, are better than triple or double in size, you know. Think about the kids," asks Gates of the school board.

If school officials vote to close the school, students would most likely transfer to Washington Elementary or Spalding Elementary, where the meeting was held tonight.

Board members say they'll continue to listen to the concerns of parents.

But they will vote on the matter next Monday, December 9th.

If you have a story you want to tell or an  incident you think needs to be investigated, our reporter Beairshelle Edmé wants to hear about it.

BEdme@siouxlandnews.com

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