The Gering School Board Monday night unanimously voted to close Cedar Canyon elementary school south of Gering beginning with the 2017-18 school year.
Board members said they took the action for “all of the students in Gering”. They cited the additional cost per student to operate the K-4 school, the planned reconfiguration to K-5 elementary schools in the near future, and the need to equalize elementary class sizes throughout the district in fairness to teachers.
But Cedar Canyon parents who fought to keep the school open said afterward they were “disappointed.” Parent Becky Fitts said the loss of the 5th and 6th grade classes a few years ago was probably the “ultimate demise of the school”. Parent Joni Cowan said she still felt the wrong decision was made, noting test scores at Cedar Canyon were still the best in the district when they had higher class sizes with the fifth and sixth graders were at the school.
Both parents said they hope the district honors Board Chair Brian Copsey’s promise that they will help transition the Cedar Canyon students to the in-town schools and the larger class sizes they will face.