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Chapman School

Nebraska district decides to close elementary school

Feb. 11, 2020
The Northwest district, based in Grand Island, will shutter the Chapman School in Chapman, Neb. at the end of the school year.

The Northwest (Neb.) school board, based in Grand Island, has voted to close one of its elementary schools later this year.

The Grand Island Independent reports that the board decided in a 4-2 vote to shutter Chapman School, a preK-5 campus in Chapman, Neb., at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

“This is not an easy decision,” Board President Dan Leiser says. “Nobody up here wants to be up here, but we feel it is the best decision for the board to close the Chapman facility.”

The reasons cited for closing Chapman centered on the roughly $20,000 per-student cost—nearly double that of the other Northwest  schools—and the lack of significant growth in enrollment in recent years.

Board members had voted in December 2016 to close Chapman, but were subsequently persuaded to keep the school open.

Board member Bret Mader says there have been efforts since then from both the Northwest district and the Save Chapman Committee to increase enrollment at Chapman, but those efforts have not succeeded.

Leiser says one of his biggest concerns in closing Chapman was how students, particularly those with special needs, would be affected by a move to a different school building.

Administrators have assured the board that the paraeducators at Chapman will remain in the district and will continue to work with the students they now are helping.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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