Breidablik makes two groups' school closure lists

POULSBO — Split into two groups, the School Closure Committee narrowed its closure options to three schools each on Tuesday.

The only school that made it on both groups’ lists of possible closures: Breidablik.

The other schools on the groups’ list for possible closure are Gordon, Pearson, Suquamish and Vinland elementary schools.

The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 18, where the committee will continue to narrow down the options.

The goal of the committee is to make a closure recommendation to the North Kitsap School Board by February. The school board will make the final decision and does not have to follow the committee’s recommendation.

The board’s goal is to close a school starting in the 2013-14 school year.

A school closure is being considered because it would save the district about $300,000 - $400,000 each year, because of the reduction in staff, such as a principal, and utilities. The full savings would most likely not be seen the first year, because of moving costs.

The committee narrowed the closure options from the district’s seven elementary schools, to five, using “filters.” These filters factored in such things as future enrollment projection, conditions of buildings, cultural impact and potential loss of students to other districts. The schools with the lowest “scores” remained in the pool for closure recommendations.

The following is the enrollment as of October 2012, with the school’s total capacity in parentheses:

Breidablik, 298 (450); Gordon, 426 (551); Pearson, 284 (400); Suquamish, 413 (500); Vinland, 453 (625).

With current enrollment numbers, which have decreased overall in the past several years, the district could close two elementary schools with enough room to house students in the remaining five. The district counted 2,653 elementary students, with space for 873 more.

Breidablik and Pearson have schools in other districts bordering them.

Chimacum is 14.6 miles from the east end of the Hood Canal Bridge, and is the only non-NKSD school bordering Breidablik.

Pearson is near four Central Kitsap district schools, which share neighborhoods on the two school districts’ boundaries. In Keyport, students travel about 3.7 miles to Pearson, but have the option to go to Brownsville, 2.5 miles away. Students living near Madison Road travel about 4.2 miles to Pearson, with the option to go 2 miles to Brownsville. Students on Avante Road travel 2.1 miles to Pearson, but are 0.8 miles from Emerald Heights. Students living at Bangor can go to Pearson, or CKSD’s Clear Creek or Cougar Valley schools.



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