FRANCISCO, In. (WEHT) – Francisco Elementary School in Francisco is closing its doors.
The school started in 1851 in a one room cabin, with the current building opening in 1980.
Administrators say the decision to close was not an easy one, but declining enrollment made it necessary.
“I hate even closing the school because it’s an emotional thing for the community, and for kids, but we got to a level where the classrooms were so small that it wasn’t even good for the kids socially, and we were at about fifty something students in the building,” says East Gibson Superintendent Ja Wilson.
With the closing also comes a reduction in faculty, a difficult reality educators grapple with amidst the changes.
“It’s been difficult, I’ll be honest with you. Anytime you’re losing an employee that’s been with you for some time period, it’s a difficult thing to go through…we had to make some tough decisions because the numbers are just not there. And I also want them to realize, the staff, we love the community here – and we want what’s best for the community,” says Principal Jane Reed.
The school says they are doing everything they can to ensure the comfort of the students in preparation of the change.
“The kids – they’re resilient, you know, so they know that there is a change coming. I think it will hit them harder next year when they start and they have these bigger classrooms…I want them to enjoy their last few days here at Francisco Elementary, so we are trying to make it special,” says Reed.
The last day of classes is Wednesday, May 25th, before faculty begin the strenuous process of moving everything out of the building. Students currently attending Francisco will be sent to other schools in the district for the upcoming fall term.