One of five elementary schools in the Gates Chili school district could be closing its doors for good. The district is trying to reduce a $3 million gap in their budget.
"I'm hoping to hear that they are not going to close our school,” said parent Sandi Wood.
That's the hope of many parents of elementary school children in the Gates Chili school district. Facing a multi million dollar budget gap the district is looking at all options including shutting down one of their elementary schools.
"Closing an elementary school is never an easy decision and it isn't now and we haven't made it. We're in the process of trying to look at or consider the options,” said Superintendent Richard Stein.
The district has five elementary schools: Neil Armstrong, Walt Disney, Florence Brasser, Paul Road and Washington Irving. Jill Hoff's daughter is a second grader at Irving.
"We were concerned because she is in one of the smaller schools and were worried that that will be the one that closes,” said Hoff.
Hoff, like many parents, has concerns about what a closing could mean for her daughter's education.
"We don't want to see larger class sizes, we're worried about kids coming back from the Catholic schools that are closing which will also increase class sizes so we're hoping there's another way we can fix the problem,” said Hoff.
"We’re afraid that class sizes are going to go up, kids are going to get left behind fall through the cracks, you know it happens to kids all the time,” said Bill Wood, a parent.
Superintendent Richard Stein says enrollment has declined in elementary schools and if they do close a school, one of the keys is keeping class sizes the same.
"We can maintain comparable programming in four buildings that we now offer in five as a superintendent I have to put that on the table,” said Stein.
There are other options on the table including cuts to the district office, sports and extracurricular activities. The superintendent is expected to make his recommendation to the board later this month. They are expected to finalize plans in March.