Multiple Natrona County Schools Could Close

Multiple Natrona County Schools could close next year.

News 13’s Marella Porter spoke with a parent who learned of the news today, hearing her thoughts.

Last week we reported on the school enrollment study that shows a decline in enrollment with the Natrona County School District.

Today NCSD school district officials announced possible closures of several schools.

“We received an email that went out today that the school district is considering closing Willard at the end of the school year," said parent, Elizabeth Bauer.

Among them, University Park, Willard, Mountain View and Frontier middle.

School district members say they aim to be cost efficient with all facilities so students can learn at a high level.

"The legislature has charged us with operating our schools and our school system as efficiently as possible. So each of the recommended currently occupied schools are deemed to be small and inefficient schools," said NCSD offical Rick Skatula.

But parents don’t feel closing down schools will benefit students.

"They have schools that have waiting lists for students to get into them. And then they have class sizes that are 30 plus kids but they’re gonna close a bunch of schools and cram all of these kids into other schools and expect all of these teachers that are working there to teach big class sizes. And then you have kids that need more one on one time with the teacher to learn and their not gonna get that."

Officials say smaller schools cost as much as larger schools to operate.

"So if the board chooses to close all of the recommended schools that are currently occupied that will account for every student who is currently in an elementary seat leaving approximately 200 extra seats in case of influx."

“I’m sad. I’m hurt.”

Bauer grew up bouncing around schools and hoped her daughter wouldn't have the same fate. She has one question for school district officials.

"Is there anything that the community can do or that we can do that can change their mind or that can prevent some of these schools from closing. I mean it's gonna displace a lot of families"

She adds, with millions of dollars poured into new schools around the county, it leaves her wondering if money was wasted.

School district board members will meet on October 23rd to consider the closures.