The Ferguson-Florissant (Mo.) district has closed the 90-year-old Vogt Elementary School in Ferguson.
The St Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Vogt community said farewell Wednesday in a school assembly.
“Even though it’s sad, I want you to remember the great times,” says Principal Leslie Thomas-Washington, who has led Vogt since 2009.
The Ferguson-Florissant School Board voted last fall to carry out a major restructuring plan that called for closing three district schools — Vogt, Airport Elementary in Berkeley and Mark Twain Alternative School in Florissant.
Vogt opened in 1930 as a high school with 220 students. The two-story brick building was named for Ferguson businessman John M. Vogt, a long-serving school board member.
At a community meeting earlier this week, Superintendent Joseph Davis acknowledged the sacrifices of parents, teachers and students, but said every change was calculated to improve the students’ education.
“Without a good quality school district, there is no economic development,” Davis says.
Declining population in the nine municipalities the district serves left its 25 schools with about 4,000 empty desks. Vogt dropped from 340 students in 2000 to fewer than 250 this year. Airport Elementary’s enrollment also fell below 250.
Most elementary schools in the district will convert to either preK-2 or 3-5 grade configurations. Sixth grade centers will open on adjoining middle school campuses. McCluer South-Berkeley High School in Ferguson will become a magnet academy for science and the arts, meaning some students will have to transfer to McCluer or McCluer North high schools.
The Vogt school building will house district offices for student services, early education and the Parents as Teachers program. School officials have not decided what to do with the shuttered Airport building.